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Major injuries to specialists reach 10-year low

The rates of major injuries amongst specialist contractors has fallen to its lowest level in a decade, a new survey has found.

The National Specialist Contractors’ Council’s accidents survey for 2012/13 found the number of major injuries per 100,000 construction workers fell to 150.1 from 204.1 a year earlier amongst its members.

NSCC said the 2012/13 figure was the lowest recorded since it starting collecting the data 10 years ago.

The rate of major injuries also dropped in the industry at large to 156 from 171.8 across the industry. In total there were 217 major injuries amongst the firms surveyed by NSCC and 1,913 in the industry in 2012/13.

The number of deaths in the construction from work injuries also decreased amongst NSCC firms and in the industry as a whole. The number of fatal injuries per 100,000 construction workers fell to 0.7 in 2012/13 from 1.8 a year earlier amongst the firms in the NSCC’s research.

For the industry as a whole, figures from the Health and Safety Executive for the industry as a whole found the fatal injury rate fell to 1.9 from 2.3 in that period.

In total, there was one death from a work accident in the firms surveyed by NSCC and 39 in the industry in 2012/13.

The fall in deaths and major injuries amongst NSCC members in 2012/13 came after a rise between 2010/11 and 2011/12. Major injuries amongst NSCC firms rose to 204.1 from 168.8 between 2011/12 and 2010/11 while deaths increased to 1.8 from 1 in that time.

There were 358 injuries resulting in operatives being off work for more than seven days amongst the firms polled by NSCC, which is a rate per 100,000 workers of 247.7.

Meanwhile 3,133 construction workers in the whole industry suffered these injuries giving a rate of 255.4. There is no data for previous years for seven-day injuries because the reporting requirement used to be for injuries resulting in a three-day absence.

The largest proportion of major injuries to specialist contractors came from slips and trips – 28.2 per cent – followed by falls from height at 24.9 per cent. Slips and trips also caused the biggest percentage of seven day injuries at 24.3 per cent followed by handling, lifting or carrying at 22.3 per cent.

The total proportion of these two types of  injuries caused by slips and trips rose slightly from the previously year to a total of 25.7 per cent from 22 per cent while the proportion of handling and carrying accidents dropped to 19.8 per cent from 24.5 per cent.

David Bishop, membership coordinator for NSCC, said NSCC reviews the figures and works with its members and the HSE to take action on any prevalent causes of injury.

The NSCC survey used information from 2,542 companies covering 144,531 workers which is an increase on the 112,707 in last year’s survey.

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