In Building's health and safety channel this week we have the latest from the Health and Safety Executive, as they release statistics on the number of construction fatalities in the sector for 2008/09.

As predicted by Building just weeks ago, the number of fatalities has hit a record low, but everything is relative, and despite the huge fall from the previous year, the figures still mark construction out as one of the most dangerous industries in which to work.

Read on to see what the HSE's new chief inspector of construction thought about the statistics, and whether he thinks they will proceed to shoot back up again as firms cut corners in the downturn.

We also bring you up to speed on the latest from the courts, as more firms face hefty fines for breaches of health and safety that left workers dead or seriously injured.

This includes the hearing of the UK's first corporate manslaughter case which many firms have been watching with bated breath, as the sentence is likely to set the precedent for the cases which follow.

We also bring you more shocking statistics which show that one in 10 people in the construction industry claim their firm has been affected by kidnapping, as companies venture further afield to win work in the downturn.

Worryingly, respondents to the CIOB survey also reported a range of other crimes, including site burglary, vandalism and neglect of health and safety.

What do you think - has your firm suffered from a rise in crime in the downturn? Have you been tempted to branch out abroad, and if so, would these new stats deter you in any way? Let me know your thoughts.