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Construction accident rate slows but is still too high, says HSE

31 Oct 13 Construction’s major injury rate dropped 9% last year but this is still not good enough, according to the Health & Safety Executive’s construction chief.

The construction industry sector recorded 1,913 major injuries in 2012/13, which is equivalent to 156.0 per 100,000 employees. This was down from 2,124 major injuries in 2011/12, equivalent to 171.8 per 100,000 employees.

There were 39 fatal injuries to workers in the construction industry, down from 49 the previous year.

The average over the previous five years is 53.

The most common cause of fatalities was falls from heights, which resulted in 23 deaths, 60% of all the fatalities recorded. This was similar to 2011/12 when falls from heights accounted for 57% of fatalities suffered by construction workers.

Although construction accounts for only about 5% of the employees in Britain, it accounts for 27% of fatal injuries to employees and 10% of reported major injuries.

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Heather Bryant, head of HSE’s Construction Sector, said: “The figures this year show a fall in the number of serious injuries in construction compared to 2011/12. However, construction still remains one of Britain’s most dangerous sectors.

“Year on year we are seeing a downward trend but far too many employees are still being killed or seriously injured at work. This is unacceptable when many could have been prevented with simple safety measures.

“I have seen some excellent examples of well ran construction sites where a clear focus on safety and risk management has been demonstrated. HSE is continuing to work with the industry to ensure the right health and safety practices are in place to protect workers.”

See David Taylor’s exclusive interview with HSE chief inspector of construction Heather Bryant only in the October issue of The Construction Index magazine. Read the digital version at epublishing.theconstructionindex.co.uk/magazine/october2013/

Or to subscribe to your own print copy every month from just £35 a year, see www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/magazine

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