Watts Bulletin

Fewer construction workers killed in past year

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has released encouraging figures for the number of workers who were fatally injured in the construction sector during the last 12 months.

The latest construction industry statistics reveal that between 1 April 2009 and 31 March 2010:

  • A total of 41 construction workers were killed at work, compared to an average of 66 workers in the past five years. This represents a fall of 21% on 2008/09 when 52 workers died.
  • Of the 41 construction workers killed, 29 were employees and 12 were self employed.
  • The rate of fatal injuries in the sector was two per 100,000 workers, making it one of the most dangerous industries in which to work.
  • Four members of the public were also killed in accidents connected to work in the sector.

The average rate of fatal injury in construction over the last five years has been 3.2 per 100,000 workers. In each of the last five years, the number of fatal injuries has been as follows:

  • 2008/09 - 52 workers died
  • 2007/08 - 72 workers died
  • 2006/07 - 79 workers died
  • 2005/06 - 60 workers died
  • 2004/05 - 69 workers died

Commenting on the figures, Philip White, the HSE's Chief Inspector of Construction, said, "While it's heartening to see a continued reduction in the number of deaths in construction, it's tempered by the fact that 41 workers failed to come home to their families last year because of avoidable safety failings.

"Construction continues to be one of the most dangerous industries in Great Britain and employers and workers must continue to take an uncompromising approach to safety. It's too soon to say that the decrease in fatalities is down to any particular reason, but it is imperative that as the economy recovers, health and safety is seen as a priority - we know from past experience that economic recoveries tend to lead to an increase in worker deaths."

For more information, go to www.hse.gov.uk

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