Work and Pensions commissions investigation after fatalities soar 28% on previous year

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 fatalities within the construction industry, a 28% increase on the previous year.

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

In a report to the board of directors of the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the organisation’s chief executive, Geoffrey Podger said:

“Within the construction division, scrutiny of fatal accidents is already carried out to inform the plan of work.

“The 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.

“The researchers will also seek to identify levers for change within and beyond the health and safety system.”

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