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Trade unionists and anti-blacklisting campaigners have criticised the awarding of a top health and safety honour to the construction firm Balfour Beatty.

The company was recently awarded the Royal Society for the Protection of Accident's most prestigious award at this years Occupational Health and Safety Awards.

Steve Kelly, spokesperson for the Blacklist Support Group, described the award as "offensive".

He commented: "At first I thought this was a joke. Balfour Beatty are the construction company with the WORST record of sacking and blacklisting Safety Representatives in the entire industry."

Steve Acheson, a blacklisted electrician, said: "A very good friend of mine, Jim Lafferty was the safety rep at the Royal Opera House and raised a number of safety issues as part of his role. For his troubles, Balfour Kilpatrick (a subsidiary of Balfour Beatty - now trading as Balfour Beatty Engineering Services) blacklisted him and made it almost impossible for him to find steady work."

"Jim is only one of 3,000 workers who have had their lives ruined by this covert blacklist but because we are building workers rather than celebrities, no-one seems to be concerned about us."

More than 40 building firms were found to have illegally paid the Consulting Association for sensitive information on the trade union activities of potential employees.

The Blacklist Support Group can be found on Facebook here.

What the short film Blacklisted here.

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