Safety concerns flagged up for Marischal Square workers

Accumulated debris at the site.

Construction workers have been “put at risk” at the Marischal Square development, according to safety bosses.

A letter seen by the Evening Express from Health and Safety Executive chief executive Dr Richard Judge said that when inspectors visited the site on April 8 they found “accumulations of waste obstructing safe access” for workers.

Concerns about the site, around Provost Skene’s House, were raised with the HSE by Aberdeen Central MSP Kevin Stewart.

The SNP politician sent the organisation pictures showing scattered debris.

Mr Stewart today said: “This is a disgrace and a major failure on the part of both the contractors and Aberdeen City Council.

“When I first raised concerns about this at the beginning of the month, the city’s finance convener shrugged off my concerns in the press.

“Since then HSE has agreed with me that there were serious risks at the site. I sincerely hope the city council will admit it was wrong to ignore this issue.”

He added: “To have it confirmed that people working there have been put at risk is shocking.

“Aberdeen City Council need to take responsibility for the contractors they hire.”

A spokesman for contractor Morgan Sindall said the day-to-day operation of a construction site inevitably results in the generation of waste material.

He said: “Our procedures relating to the safe storage and appropriate disposal of this material are reviewed regularly as a matter of course, as part of our ongoing commitment to prioritise safety on all of our sites.

“On April 7 we took the decision to temporarily stand down the Marischal Square site in order to review and improve the arrangements in place for waste management and general site housekeeping.”

He said an HSE worker “coincidentally” visited the next day for an “unscheduled site inspection”.

“We informed them of our decision to stand the site down the previous day, that we had identified and were addressing the storage and removal of site debris in question and restated our intention to ensure our own high standards are upheld by everyone working on the site.”

Finance convener Willie Young said: “As always Kevin Stewart wants to look back instead of forward. The HSE has not prosecuted Muse Developments or Morgan Sindall therefore I suggest Kevin Stewart would be better to get on with his day job.”

A HSE spokesman said: “We can confirm that concerns were raised to us.

“Contractors at the site below have agreed to improvements highlighted by the HSE when we visited the site in Aberdeen earlier this month.”