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    CONSTRUCTION DEATHS FALL FOR THIRD YEAR

    Number and rate of construction fatalities at further all time lows

    Figures released today (30 June 2010) show that 41 workers were fatally injured in the construction sector between 1 April 2009 and 31 March 2010.

    This compares with an average of 66 worker deaths over the past five years and represents 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. The average rate of fatal injury in construction over the last five years has been 3.2 per 100,000 workers.

    The 41 fatally injured construction workers included 29 employees and 12 self employed people. Four members of the public also died construction related incidents.

    Construction Chief says “uncompromising approach” still required

    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.”

    Across all sectors and regions there were 151 workplace deaths in 2009/10, and 178 in 2009/09. Further information on workplace statistics can be found at www.hse.gov.uk/statistics

    Comment

    The number and rate of fatal injuries are both the lowest on record for the third year in succession. This positive news was anticipated based on our tracking of fatalities throughout the year.

    HSE say it is too soon to identify any particular reason for the decreases.

    Nevertheless, construction remains one of the most dangerous industries in which to work. The HSE Plan for 2010/11 explains how HSE intends to address health and safety in construction .

    It is likely that subsequent analysis will confirm that a greater proportion of deaths are occurring on smaller projects involving smaller builders.

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