Total deaths falls from 50 last year but construction still records highest fatalities of any industry

HSE figures show 49 workers died on construction sites from April 2011 to March 2012.

The total number of fatalities fell from 50 the previous year, but was still higher than the 41 deaths in 2009-10.

Once again construction recorded the highest fatalities of any industry, above agriculture (33) and waste and recycling (5). Across the UK economy as a whole, 173 workers were killed over the period.

The figures are provisional and may be revised by HSE in the coming months.

Judith Hackitt, the HSE chair, said: “Britain continues to have one of the lowest levels of workplace fatal injuries in Europe, part of a long term downward trend.

“But we must not forget that these are lives cut short, not statistics - every single one of these deaths will have caused terrible grief and anguish for family and friends as well as workmates and colleagues. This is the real tragedy of health and safety failures – lives cut short and loved ones lost.

“We want employers to focus on the real risks that continue to cause death and serious injury. HSE is working very hard to make it easier for people to understand what they need to do and to focus on the real priorities. Protecting people from death and serious injury at work should be at the heart of what we all do.”