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Construction deaths rise to 50

The number of people killed on construction sites rose to 50 last year, according to figures released today by the Health and Safety Executive.

It is the first annual increase in site deaths since 2006/7 and represents nine more than the 41 killed last year.

The provisional stats released by the HSE cover the period from April 2010 to March 2011.

HSE chief construction inspector Philp White said:  “The construction industry continues to see more deaths than any other industrial sector. We must not lose sight of the fact that 50 construction workers failed to come home last year, and that will have devastated those they leave behind.”

Mr White said that while the increase was “extremely disappointing” the figures for a single year should not be viewed in isoltation.

He added:  “Numbers and rates of fatal injuries in construction have seen an overall downward trend in the last five years.

“HSE will continue to work to reduce the number of fatal accidents, however, it is ultimately the responsibility of those who create health and safety risks to control them and prevent people being killed and injured.”

The majority of deaths continue to be on small construction sites as big contractors continue to push through improvements made over the last decade.

But the HSE is adamant the improvement is not about money but about mindset.

The rate of fatal injury has increased to 2.4 per 100,000 workers compared to 1.9 per 100,000 workers in 2009/10.

This compares to an average rate of 2.8 for the previous five years.

In each of the last five years, the number of fatal injuries has been:

  • 2009/10 – 41 workers died – finalised figures
  • 2008/09 – 52 workers died
  • 2007/08 – 72 workers died
  • 2006/07 – 79 workers died
  • 2005/06 – 60 workers died

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