The 30 deaths in the year to the end of March 2017 were the lowest since records began, according to the HSE

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) said the year to March 2017 saw the lowest number of construction work-related fatalities on record.

In a new report the HSE said the number of deaths in the construction industry amounted to 30, which while being the largest share of the 137 recorded in the period – itself a rate of 0.43 per thousand workers – was the lowest since records began.

The HSE said in the last five years the number of deaths in the sector had fluctuated, with the annual average for the past five years being 39. Last year the figure was 43, while 35 workers died in 2015.

The annual average rate over the last five years in construction had been around four times as high as the all-industry rate, the HSE added.

There had been a long-term downward trend in the number of fatal injuries to workers, halving in the last 20 years, although HSE chair Martin Temple said that in recent years the trend had shown signs of levelling.

“Every fatality is a tragic event that should not happen,” Temple said. “While we are encouraged by this improvement on the previous year, we continue unwaveringly on our mission to prevent injury, death and ill health by protecting people and reducing risks.”