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    CONSTRUCTION SECTOR DEATHS RISE SHARPLY

    HSE report construction worker deaths increase by 27% during 2017/18

    The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has today (4th July 2018) released its annual figures for work-related fatal injuries for 2017/18, as well as the number of people known to have died from the asbestos-related cancer, mesothelioma, in 2016.

    The provisional annual data for work-related fatal injuries (across all industries) revealed that 144 workers were fatally injured between April 2017 and March 2018 (a rate of 0.45 per 100,000 workers).

    This represents an increase of nine fatalities from 2016/17 although there has been a long-term reduction in the number of fatalities since 1981 and the number has remained broadly level in recent years.

    Construction sector deaths

    The HSE statistics show a total of 38 worker deaths in the construction sector compared to an all time low of 30 worker deaths in 2016/17. There were a further 6 fatalities in the construction sector which involved a non-worker member of the public.

    The rate of fatal injury in construction is now 1.64 per 100,000 workers employed. This is around 4 times as high as the average rate across all industries but considerably less than the rate in either Agriculture or Waste and recycling, despite accounting for a greater number of cases than these sectors.

    Asbestos related disease

    Mesothelioma, contracted through past exposure to asbestos and one of the few work-related diseases where deaths can be counted directly caused the death of 2,595 in Great Britain in 2016.

    The current figures are largely a consequence of occupational asbestos exposures that occurred before 1980. Annual deaths are expected to remain broadly at current levels for the rest of the decade before beginning to decline.

    HSE Chair Martin Temple said:

    “Despite the fact that Britain’s health and safety record is the envy of much of the world, the increase in the number of workers fatally injured is clearly a source of concern.

    Published in the same week as the 30th anniversary of the Piper Alpha disaster, the figures serve as a reminder of why health and safety is so important and that we must not become complacent as we continue on our mission to prevent all forms of injury, death and ill health at work.”

    A fuller assessment of work related ill-health and injuries, drawing on HSE’s full range of data sources, will be provided as part of the annual Health and Safety Statistics release on 31 October 2018.

     

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