Figures released by the Health and Safety Executive indicate a lower number of deaths than previous years

New figures from the Health and Safety Executive show there were 48 construction-related deaths during the last nine months of 2008.

The interim statistics for the third quarter revealed 46 construction workers - including employees and self-employed - were killed, and two members of the public.

The figures indicate that the overall number of deaths for 2008/09 could be lower than the previous years, when 72 workers and three members of the public were killed in the sector.

But construction still had the highest number worker deaths compared with other sectors.

The HSE noted that the figures were still provisional and could be subject to revision as more relevant information becomes available.

The statistics will be formalised in June.