THE Health and Safety Executive said it welcomed moves to improve safety in construction, but warned that urgent action was still required.
A spokesperson said the industry should not wait until the safety summit in February.

He said: "Next year's summit is intended to stimulate longer-term thinking so that the construction industry prepares challenging but practical action plans to improve its management of health and safety.

"But the construction industry should not wait for the summit. It needs to act now to address the problem.

"We all know what is killing people on construction sites and the way to stop it. The law is there to protect people and HSE inspectors will continue to enforce it rigorously."

The HSE report that announced the 59% rise in site deaths for the six months to September listed the main causes of death. They included: falling through fragile roofs and rooflights, falling from ladders, falling from scaffolding and being hit by excavators, lift trucks, dumpers and other vehicles.

HSE chief construction inspector Kevin Myers said that contractors, clients and designers needed to alter their laissez-faire attitude to safety.

He said: "I want the industry to take urgent action to address the problem. We also need to address the risk-tolerant culture of the construction industry, including among clients and designers."

To prevent accidents, the HSE recommended a series of safety measures on site. These include: securing ladders, covering rooflights, providing safety nets and toe boards, separating plant and people and using remote demolition techniques.