Construction deaths rose from 41 the previous year to 50 in 2010/2011, according to Health and Safety Executive (HSE) statistics released today.
“The construction industry continues to see more deaths than any other industrial sector,” said HSE chief construction inspector Philip White. “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.
White said the while the increase is “extremely disappointing” figures for a single year should not be viewed in isolation. 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,” he said.
“The majority of deaths continue to be on small construction sites. Big construction companies have shown steady improvements over the last decade, and we want to see smaller firms take a similar lead. This is not about money, it’s about mindset - planning jobs properly, thinking before you act and taking basic steps to protect yourself and your friends.”
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.
Manufacturing sector deaths also rose from to 24 to 27 and service sector deaths rose from 42 to 47. In terms of the rate of fatal injury the agriculture and waste recycling sectors stand out as having the highest fatal injury incidence rates.
The news comes shortly after the Office for Rail Regulation warned of a climate of fear in reporting of railway accidents.