Investigation commissioned after sharp increase in fatalities

The Department for Work and Pensions has ordered a major inquiry into deaths in the construction industry.

In the past 25 years, more than 2500 construction workers have died from job-related injuries.

In 2007/8 there were 77 fatalies within the industry, a 28% increase on the previous year.

The construction industy accounts for 32% of all work related deaths.

In a report to the HSE’s board of directors, chief executive Geoffrey Podger said: “Within the construction division, scrutiny of fatal accidents is already carried out to inform the plan of work.

“HSE proposes to deliver this commission by, among other things, engaging independent external researchers to examine the underlying causes of fatal accidents in construction, including vulnerability, and identify levers for change both within and beyond the health and safety system.”

He added: “HSE sees the new commission as an opportunity to gather valuable intelligence that can shape future strategy.”