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CONSTRUCTION SECTOR DEATH TOLL AND RATE FALL

Fatality figures for construction fall by almost 20% over 2012/13

Provisional data released by HSE reveals that 148 workers across all UK sectors were fatally injured between April 2012 and March 2013. This is compared with 172 in the previous year.

The overall rate of fatal injury has dropped to 0.5 per 100,000 workers, below the five-year average of 0.6.

Construction sector

The latest headline data for the construction sector in 2012/13 reveal:

  • 39 fatal injuries to construction workers;
  • decrease from 48 deaths recorded in 2011/12;
  • rate of 1.9 deaths per 100,000 construction workers; and
  • decrease from a rate of deaths of 2.3 in 2011/12.

Judith Hackitt, the HSE Chair, said:

“HSE is striving to make health and safety simpler and clearer for people to understand so that more people do what is required to manage the real risks that cause death and serious injury.

We all have a part to play to ensure people come home safe at the end of the working day and good leadership, employee engagement and effective risk-management are key to achieving this.”

The figures for 2012/13 are provisional. They will be finalised in July 2014 following any necessary adjustments arising from investigations, in which new facts can emerge about whether the accident was work-related. 

The Trades Union Congress (TUC) welcomed the reduction in deaths and urged to guard against complacency. General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:

“The drop in number of people killed while at work is welcome but any death is one too many and today’s figures will be of no comfort to the families of the 148 people who died last year.

It’s also worth remembering that the number of immediate fatalities is less than one per cent of the total number of people who are killed as a result of their jobs – mainly as a result of diseases such as mesothelioma and other cancers.

Many occupational diseases are still on the increase and much more needs to be done to protect workers from the long-term effects of their work. Every year more than 20,000 people die as a result of ill-health brought on by their working conditions.

Based on the latest available data, from 2010, Britain continues to have the lowest rate of fatal injuries to workers among the five leading industrial nations in Europe – Germany, France, Spain and Italy for the eighth year.

The main causes of construction worker deaths during 2011/12 are summarised in the table below. This pattern is unlikely to have changed significantly during 2012/13.

 
Main causes of construction worker deaths
 

 
All UK work sectors deaths 1993/94 – 2012/13

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