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Revised figures reveal 72 worker deaths last year

There were 72 workers killed on construction sites last financial year, revised figures from the Health and Safety Executive have revealed.

The provisional number is three higher than the unaudited level of 69 which the safety body had reported mid-April. However it will be a year before the confirmed number of worker fatalities is published.

Construction deaths made up almost a third of all work-related fatal injuries in Great Britain, the report said. A total of 228 workers lost their lives as a result of incidents at work in 2007/08.

HSE Chair Judith Hackitt said, “Whilst we welcome the headline decrease in overall numbers of fatalities, there is absolutely no room for complacency as the report suggests a plateau in the overall five-year trend.

“Evidence shows that where employers and employees work closely together to agree the agenda and set targets to tackle real issues, they have made significant improvements. We want this to continue and we also want to see employers taking more ownership and leadership to embed health and safety in their organisational culture and boardrooms.

“The high levels of fatalities in the agriculture and construction sectors continue to be of particular concern to us and will be a major focus of HSE’s work priorities over the coming year.”