Construction worker fatalities dropped by more than a third in the year to the end of March 2017, reaching an all-time annual low.
There were 30 fatalities from workplace injuries in construction during 2016/17, according to the Health and Safety Executive’s provisional data released this week – the lowest on record.
The number of deaths in the sector has fluctuated over the past five years, with 47 fatalities in 2015/16 compared with 35 in 2014/15. The annual average for the past five years is 39.
Of the 30 construction worker deaths counted in the latest year, 22 were employed and eight self-employed.
The rate of fatal injury per 100,000 construction workers dropped from 2.12 in 2015/16 to 1.37 in 2016/17.
However, this was still well above the all-industry average for the latest year of 0.43.
Twelve of the construction worker fatalities 2016/17 were due to falls from height.
Four members of the public died from accidents related to the construction sector in 2016/17, up from two in the previous year.
The full breakdown of the 34 deaths related to the construction industry is here:
|Employee||29||Male||Struck by moving vehicle||Construction of buildings||Cotswold|
|Self Employed||35||Male||Contact with machinery||Construction of buildings||Vale of Glamorgan|
|Employee||53||Male||Struck against||Construction of buildings||Isle of Wight|
|Employee||37||Male||Fall from height||Construction of buildings||Derby|
|Employee||45||Male||Fall from height||Construction of buildings||Exeter|
|Employee||56||Male||Fall from height||Construction of buildings||Aberdeen|
|MoP||18||Male||Another kind of accident||Construction of buildings||Bedford|
|Employee||33||Male||Struck by object||Construction of buildings||Westminster|
|MoP||Not known||Male||Fall from height||Construction of buildings||Blaby|
|Self Employed||38||Male||Fall from height||Construction of buildings||Cheshire West and Chester|
|Employee||34||Male||Struck by moving vehicle||Civil engineering||South Lanarkshire|
|Employee||59||Male||Fall from height||Civil engineering||Wakefield|
|Employee||62||Male||Struck by object||Civil engineering||Fife|
|Self Employed||32||Male||Another kind of accident||Civil engineering||Tendring|
|Employee||47||Male||Struck by moving vehicle||Civil engineering||Daventry|
|Employee||55||Male||Struck by moving vehicle||Civil engineering||Edinburgh|
|Self Employed||63||Male||Fall from height||Civil engineering||Glasgow|
|Employee||22||Male||Fall from height||Specialised construction activities||Merton|
|Self Employed||68||Male||Fall from height||Specialised construction activities||East Lothian|
|MoP||63||Male||Trapped by something collapsing||Specialised construction activities||Wiltshire|
|Employee||Not known||Male||Another kind of accident||Specialised construction activities||Cheshire West and Chester|
|Employee||65||Male||Fall from height||Specialised construction activities||Blaenau Gwent|
|Self Employed||67||Male||Fall from height||Specialised construction activities||North Lincolnshire|
|MoP||67||Male||Fall from height||Specialised construction activities||Aberdeenshire|
|Self Employed||39||Male||Fall from height||Specialised construction activities||Barnsley|
|Employee||32||Male||Contact with electricity||Specialised construction activities||Vale of Glamorgan|
|Employee||36||Male||Struck by moving vehicle||Specialised construction activities||Northampton|
|Employee||38||Male||Fall from height||Specialised construction activities||Barnet|
|Self Employed||58||Male||Another kind of accident||Specialised construction activities||East Lindsey|
|Employee||60||Male||Trapped by something collapsing||Specialised construction activities||Horsham|
|Employee||38||Male||Contact with electricity||Specialised construction activities||East Hertfordshire|
|Employee||36||Male||Exposure to harmful substance||Specialised construction activities||Cheshire West and Chester|
|Employee||46||Male||Struck by object||Specialised construction activities||Hull|
|Employee||53||Male||Exposed to explosion||Specialised construction activities||Camden|
Across all industries, 137 workers were fatally injured between April 2016 and March 2017, according to the provisional figures, which would be the second-lowest annual number on record.
This means construction was still responsible for more than one in five work-related deaths.
HSE chair Martin Temple said: “Every fatality is a tragic event that should not happen.
“While we are encouraged by this improvement on the previous year, we continue unwaveringly on our mission to prevent injury, death and ill health by protecting people and reducing risks.”
More recently, two workers were killed last month erecting a tower crane on a site in Crewe.
Gail Cartmail, assistant general secretary of trade union Unite, said: “The reduction in construction fatalities is welcome but construction remains the most dangerous industry in the UK. Last year 30 families still saw a loved one set off for work one day and never return home.
“These figures only reveal part of the story: for every worker killed at work there are many more who suffer life-changing injuries which mean they can never work in the industry again.
“The number of construction workers who are made ill or who die from workplace diseases dwarfs the number of construction workers killed in workplace accidents.
“It is also imperative that the latest fatality figures do not result in any loosening in safety laws or reduction in funding of enforcement activity, which would inevitably result in an increase in injuries and fatalities. The recent terrible accident in Crewe underlines the ongoing dangers faced by construction workers.”