HSE calls for further efforts as 39 workers killed in a year compared with 48 the year before


The number of British workers killed in construction has fallen sharply in a year, official statistics published today show.

According to provisional figures from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), there were 39 fatal injuries to construction workers recorded between April 2012 and March 2013 - a rate of 1.9 deaths per 100,000 workers - compared with 48 the previous year.

Over the past five years, the average number of annual deaths in the industry stands at 53.

Across the whole economy, 148 workers were fatally injured in the latest year, compared with 172 in the previous year.

HSE chair Judith Hackitt, said: “These figures are being published in the same week as the 25th anniversary of the Piper Alpha disaster, and are a reminder to us all of why health and safety is so important.

“Although the number of people killed at work has dropped significantly, last year 148 people failed to return home to their loved ones.

“The fact that Britain continues to have one of the lowest levels of workplace fatalities in Europe will be of little consolation to those who lose family members, friends and work colleagues.

“HSE is striving to make health and safety simpler and clearer for people to understand so that more people do what is required to manage the real risks that cause death and serious injury.

“We all have a part to play to ensure people come home safe at the end of the working day and good leadership, employee engagement and effective risk-management are key to achieving this.”

Yesterday, the government’s chief construction adviser Peter Hansford spoke of the importance of construction further improving its safety record, arguing that the SME sector now requires the most attention.