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Construction deaths down - but only by one


THE CONSTRUCTION industry accounted for 30% of all fatal accidents in the workplace in the last year, the Health & Safety Executive has revealed.

The news comes as exclusive research by NCE shows that the industry expects designers to do more to help reduce the accident rate, but that designers need help in knowing what to do.

The industry killed 70 people in 2003/04, down one on the previous year, and down 10 on 2001/02 according to the HSE's latest statistics, published last week.

The rate of fatal injury has fallen to 3.55 deaths per 100,000 workers, the lowest level seen in the last 12 years, HSE said.

Major injuries to employees also dropped slightly to 4,001 from 4,031, with 1,107 of these the result of falling from height - the most common form of accident.

Other frequent kinds of accident resulting in major injury were slipping and tripping (27%), being hit by moving or falling objects (16%) and being injured while handling, lifting or carrying (14%).

Chief inspector for construction Kevin Myers saw some positives in the figures. 'I feel things have moved on since 2001, ' he said. 'We are beginning to see the benefits of investment in health and safety. The accident rate is falling despite a busy industry and a skills shortage.'

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