I wish to take issue with the one-sided account in last week's paper (News, 7 November) of the recent European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling concerning EU rules on health and safety on building sites.

What you call the "controversial" EU law was actually adopted by EU governments and the European Parliament back in 1992. There is a compelling case for strict health and safety regulations on building sites. Construction workers are three times more likely to be killed and twice as likely to be injured as workers in other occupations.

This ECJ ruling puts a renewed focus on reducing deaths and injuries and should be welcomed, not attacked. Ireland's Health and Safety Authority revealed that 116 workers were killed and 35,800 suffered serious injuries in the Irish construction sector between 2002 and 2008. The ruling will serve to shield responsible builders from unfair competition from cowboy builders who ignore their responsibilities to their workforce.

Putting up scaffolding, wearing hard hats and putting up safety notices are a small price to pay to save a life. It is unacceptable that, despite the existence of these regulations, so many people in Ireland are still losing their lives and suffering horrendous injuries because of ineffective implementation of health and safety rules.

Proinsias De Rossa MEP