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Health and safety is not an issue that businesses within the construction industry can ignore, according to a leading body in the area.

John Lacey, the chair of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health's (IOSH) construction group, made the comment this week while urging new work and pensions secretary James Purnell to do what he can stop rises in the trade's fatalities.

He also suggested that increases in the number of construction deaths could be halted through the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) including fall arrest devices.

'The disturbing thing is that many of these deaths are by well-known causes that have affected the industry for years - falls from height, being struck by a moving or falling object and from contact with electricity,' he explained.

'To improve the health and safety record of this industry, it’s important that Mr Purnell gets the commitment of those at the top of the industry.'

Mr Lacey's comments have come after Manufacturingtalk reported that Chris Gordon, sales director of Mapa Spontex, also said that hand protection was 'one of the most crucial elements' of PPE.

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