Latest Health and Safety Executive figures show there were 53 fatal injuries in the sector in 2008/9

The construction industry accounted for the third highest rate of fatal injuries in 2008/9, new figures from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) revealed today.

In 2008/9, there were about 53 fatal injuries in the sector at a rate of 2.5 per 100,000 workers, which puts it just behind the agricultural and extractive industries.

The rate of fatal injuries has decreased by 34% over the past three years. Workplace fatal injuries fell from 233 in 2007/8 to a record low of 180 in 2008/9.

The HSE said comparisons with international data showed Britain to be one of the safest places to work in the EU.

Judith Hackitt, chair of HSE, said: “It is really encouraging to see these improvements in the numbers of deaths, injuries and cases of ill health at work over the last year.

“In spite of the encouraging overall statistics today let's not forget that they also tell us a story of individuals and families who have suffered. This underlines the real risks that people can face at work every day. This is what the real health and safety agenda has always been about and it will continue to be so.”