Union leaders will today step up calls for the Government and employers to tackle the "shocking" level of deaths on building sites.

The TUC released figures showing that three construction workers die in Britain every fortnight, highlighting the need to make the industry safer.

The union organisation urged legislation on corporate manslaughter and more investment in training and skills.

TUC deputy general secretary Frances O'Grady said: "Construction deaths at work are on the increase again.

"Employers will only change their poor health and safety practices when they realise that they are likely to be punished if found guilty of causing the deaths of their staff or members of the public.

"The Government must publish its proposals for a new corporate manslaughter law before the beginning of the next session of Parliament.

"A corporate manslaughter law would force employers to make safety a priority and the fear of penalty would make them train their employees properly."

The TUC said that thousands of British construction workers did not speak English as a first language, so "token gestures" including safety leaflets and posters around building sites did not begin to address the problem.