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Deaths in construction rise 27% year on year

Work-related deaths in the construction industry increased to 38 in 2017/18, up from a record low of 30 in the previous 12 months.

Figures released by the Health and Safety Executive showed there were 38 fatal injuries to construction workers in the year to 31 March 2018, up from the low of 30 in the previous 12 months.

This equated to a fatal injury rate of 1.64 per 100,000 workers, which was below the industry’s annual five-year of average 1.77.

A total of 144 workplace deaths were recorded across all industries in 2017/18, with construction accounting for the largest proportion followed by agriculture (29), manufacturing (15) and transportation / storage (15).

Falls from height remained the most common cross-industry cause of death (35), ahead of being struck by a moving vehicle (26), struck by a moving object (23), trapped by something collapsing / overturning (16) and contact with moving machinery (13).

The fatality injury rate for self-employed employees across all industries was 0.84 per 100,000 workers – nearly double that for employees (0.38), with deaths among the self-employed accounting for a third of all those reported.

Of all self-employed deaths in 2017/18, 30 per cent occurred within the construction sector.

The region with the highest number of recorded fatal injuries was the east of England (18) with Scotland (17) and the South-east (16) the next highest.

The fewest number of deaths occurred in the North-east (2).

There has been a 70 per cent fall in the total number of work-related fatalities since enforcing authority records began in 1981 (495) and a 47 per cent decrease in the last 20 years.

A total of 100 members of the public were killed in work-connected accidents in 2017/18, with just of half of these taking place on the railways (51), while six members of the public died in incidents connected to construction work.

Construction’s total of 38 deaths for 2017/18 includes three workers who died following a tower crane collapse in Crewe last year: David Newall, Rhys Barker and David Webb (pictured).


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