Health & Safety Photocall

I’m not a fan of photo-calls, or of the kind of over-organised images that photographers tend to take of them, where someone – a photographer or a PR guy – has carefully arranged a group of scene for a row of photographers who simply snap what has been produced for them.

One thing that was different about this one was its subject – against the government dismantling of much of the legislation and inspections that keep most workers safe at work, though even with them in place we still see too many workplace deaths. It is a misnomer to think of these as accidents at work; almost all of them are predictable and preventable if proper safety rules are observed.

The second thing was that there was no row of photographers – only three of us had turned up (four including a guy with a video camera), despite the normal press releases to all the media. Deaths at work are generally simply not news, because they happen to ordinary working people and not to celebrities.

One of the other photographers was I think working for one of the unions involved, and they probably wanted the kind of group picture that they had set up, although I’m sure that wasn’t all he took.

I didn’t really manage to get the kind of pictures that I wanted, though a few (there are more at obby Urges ‘Save Workers Lives’) aren’t too bad. But for me the strongest visual element was the cross, with its message ‘265 Construction Workers’ who were killed at work in the five years between ‘April 2007 and April 2012’, and although I tried a few times (including some not on line) I didn’t really get what I wanted.


My London Diary : Buildings of London : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated are by Peter Marshall and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.

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