New figures for the number of workers who were fatally injured in the construction sector have been released by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

They show that between 1 April 2009 and 31 March 2010:

  • 41 construction workers were killed at work, compared to an average of 66 workers in the past five years and a fall of 21 per cent on 2008/09 when 52 workers died
  • The rate of fatal injuries in the sector was 2.0 per 100,000 workers, making it one of the most dangerous industries in which to work
  • Out of the 41 construction workers killed, 29 were employees and 12 were self-employed people
  • Four members of the public were also killed in accidents connected to work in the sector

HSE’s Chief Inspector of Construction, Philip White 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.”

The Health and Safety Executive is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to prevent death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice, promoting training, new or revised regulations and codes of practice, and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement.

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:

  • 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
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