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53 workers killed

2004 REVIEW

DESPITE the Health and Safety Executive's best efforts - with a third of its resources focused on construction - a significant reduction in the industry's death toll has yet to be achieved and the industry will miss its target of reducing fatalities by 40 per cent by the end of March, 2005.

Even Health and Safety minister Jane Kennedy gave up hope early on, admitting in July that the industry was well short of reaching the targets set at the safety summit in February 2001 by Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott.

Scottish MPs turned out in force for the adjournment debate at Westminster in July after Scotland was highlighted as a safety black spot.You're more likely to die on a Scottish building site than anywhere else in the UK and, according to the HSE, it looks like Wales isn't that safe either.

Raw data from the HSE now shows that 53 workers have already died this year - the target was just 52 by the end of March 2005 - with falls from height still the biggest killer.

A date was set this year for a second safety summit to be held on February 24 2005, to review progress - or lack of it.

And amid all the frustration and doom and gloom in construction, the death toll on the railways hit a 13-year high. It looks like the HSE still has an awful lot to do.