“The guys that built it [deserve] a medal nobody ever had before.” So says Jen Deeney about the London Olympics Park. Jen is carrying the Olympic Torch in Merton, south London, on 23 July.
“I’m excited to be part of it because hopefully it will be the first Olympics in history to be built without a fatality,” she says. “For me, that’s worth more than any gold medal.”
Jen’s husband Kieron died in a construction accident just a few weeks after they were married. Jen is a neonatal matron but in her spare time she works tirelessly to raise awareness of health and safety issues on construction sites.
She made the Lattitude film It Will Never Happen to Me and is a supporter of and fundraiser for The Lighthouse Club, a charity devoted to supporting workers and the families of those injured or killed in construction accidents. She gives talks about the effects of an accident in visits to construction sites across the country, including the Olympic site itself.
According to RoSPA, construction of the main 2012 venues involved around 62 million hours of work with an accident frequency rate of 0.17 per 100,000 hours – less than half the construction industry average. The project was also completed without an accident-related construction fatality.
Tom Mullarkey, chief executive of RoSPA, says: “[The Olympics’] contribution to safety in the UK is now an exemplar to the whole world.”
Hear Jen talk about where she gets her inspiration (audio)
More details on the Olympic Torch Relay. You can go along and support Jen on 23 July 2012 in the London Borough of Merton.