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Injury honesty

The focus on the increase in site fatalities to seventy seven for the last year is understandable but risks creating a false picture of the industry's safety performance.

Whilst each fatality represents a tragedy for all those involved, they are only the tip of an iceberg of suffering resulting from construction activities in the UK each year.

We know that every year 3,500 - 4,000 people are seriously injured by construction work, around 10 per cent of that total being members of the public.

Major contractors are responsible for nearly half of all reported serious injuries, compared with less than 5 per cent of fatalities.

Whilst under-reporting of injuries by smaller or less reputable contractors is undoubtedly an issue, the larger companies need to look at the whole picture of injury and ill-health associated with their enterprises before claiming that the problem lies elsewhere.

Tony Putsman
Risk management consultant