The number of construction workers killed between 1 April 2009 and 31 March 2010 has fallen by 21%, according to new figures from the Health & Safety Executive.
However, the HSE said construction is still “one of the most dangerous industries in which to work”.
Across all sectors and regions there were 151 workplace deaths in 2009/10, and 178 in 2009/09.
The latest statistics show:
- 41 construction workers were killed at work, compared to an average of 66 workers in the past five years and a fall of 21% on 2008/09 when 52 workers died;
- The rate of fatal injuries in the sector was 2.0 per 100,000 workers, compared to an average of 3.2 per 100,000 workers over the last five years;
- 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.”
In each of the last five years, the number of fatal injuries in construction 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