Client demands and corner cutting could have caused increase, says HSE

The number of deaths on building sites has increased during the recession, according to reports.

HSE fatality figures, to be released in June, are expected to reveal that the total amount of people who have died in construction work during 2010-11 will have increased on the previous year.

This is taking place against a backdrop of clients becoming more demanding of their contractors.

Today two construction firms in Northern Ireland were fined a total of £61,000 after 150 tonnes of concrete collapsed injuring six workers.

While earlier this month a trench collapsed at a site in Kent killed a 24-year old worker.

This comes as the HSE is seeing its budget reduced by 35% and is expected to cut the number of proactive site inspections it makes.

A HSE Spokesman said: “It is too soon to say whether the in-year indications of a rise in fatalities in the construction sector can be confirmed.

“HSE will publish official fatality figures across all sectors in June, when they have been verified.”

“It is important HSE [has] access to reliable data and for many good reasons the information initially reported to HSE can change in light of our inquiries.”