Provisional HSE figures show only one construction worker was electrocuted in 2008/9

Deaths in the construction industry have hit a record low, according to new figures from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).

Fifty-three construction workers were killed in 2008/9, a fall of 26% from 2007/8, when 72 workers died.

Most of the deaths were caused by falls from height and accidents involving heavy plant.

The provisional data revealed that only one person was electrocuted.

The statistics showed that the rate of fatal injuries was 2.4 per 100,000 workers, making construction one of the most dangerous industries in which to work.

Over the year 33 employees and 20 self-employed labourers were killed. Four members of the public were also killed in construction-related accidents.

Philip White, HSE chief inspector of construction, said: “We very much welcome any reduction in the number of construction workers being fatally injured.”

“We all owe it to the workers who have lost their lives to continue to take an uncompromising approach to workplace safety. Clearly we are in the midst of a recession, but we know from evidence of past downturns that when the period of economic recovery comes it generally sees an increase in the rate and number of workers losing their lives.”