But HSE figures show construction remains among the most dangerous industries
Construction fatalities have hit a record low, new figures released today by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reveal.
Fifty-three workers were killed at work in 2008/9, a fall of 26% from 2007/8, when 72 workers died.
But the statistics showed that the rate of fatal injuries in the sector was 2.4 per 100,000 workers, making the sector still one of the most dangerous industries in which to work.
Provisional worker figures for 2008/9 show that 33 employees and 20 self-employed labourers were killed. Four members of the public also died in accidents connected to work in the sector
Philip White, HSE chief inspector of construction, said: “We very much welcome any reduction in the number of construction workers being fatally injured. But the fact that 53 construction workers failed to come home from their jobs last year because of avoidable safety failings is a terrible tragedy, not a cause for celebration.
“We all owe it to the workers who have lost their lives to continue to take an uncompromising approach to workplace safety. Clearly we are in the midst of a recession, but we know from evidence of past downturns that when the period of economic recovery comes it generally sees an increase in the rate and number of workers losing their lives.
“I don't want to be talking in 12 months time about a tragic rise in the number of people who have been killed simply doing their job.”