But construction deaths remain highest of any industry


The number of enforcement notices issued by the health and safety watchdog fell by 23% last year as budget reductions continued to hit home.

The fall in overall enforcement notices came despite the Health & Safety Executive’s (HSE) latest statistics confirming that the number of deaths in construction remained relatviely static - at 49 compared to 50 last year - which meant the industry remained the worst for work place deaths.

The HSE’s statistics showed that for the year to March 2012, 8,480 enforcement notices were issued, down 23% on the previous year.

However, the number of major injuries on construction sites fell marginally last year, but the number of deaths remained the highest of any industry.

The statistics showed 2230 major injuries were recorded on construction sites, down from 2307 in 2010/11.

However, the 49 deaths recorded was just one down on the 50 deaths last year, with construction remaining the worst industry for workplace deaths. This compares with an average of 59 over the previous five years. Of the 49 fatalities, 23 were to the self-employed.

This week one worker died and another two were injured on a building site in Putney, London, after one person fell from a scaffold and caught the other two on the way down.

Overall ill non fatal injuries saw a 7% increase from 7120 in 2010/11 to 7621 for 2011/12, while over-three-day injuries were up from 4,831 last year to 5,391.

Chief construction inspector Phillip White said contractors to follow the safety example of the Olympics to improve site standards.

He said: “Year after year, construction continues to be one of the most dangerous sectors in British industry.

“Though the numbers are down in the long term, thousands of workers are being seriously injured or made unwell by their work.

“We all need to refocus our efforts and take on the responsibility to ensure the serious risks that continue to cause death and serious injury, are sensibly managed. Many of these incidents are entirely preventable.

“The Olympics showed us that construction can be an example to all other industries when it is properly focused on managing risk and simple steps are put in place to ensure workers’ health and safety.”