Serious work accidents in the building trade fell 9% last year, but a health and safety expert has warned that this number is still too high.
The industry’s major injury rate dropped from 2,124 in 2011/12 (equivalent to 171.8 per 100,000 employees) to 1,913 major injuries in 2012/13 (equal to 156.0 per 100,000 employees).
There were 39 fatal injuries to workers in the building sector in 2012/13, a drop of 49 from 2011/12.
The average during the past five years is 53, according to the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) provisional statistics published on Wednesday (October 30).
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Building tops work accident death list
The most common cause of construction accident fatalities was falls from heights, the figures showed.
These resulted in 23 fatalities, or three in five of all the deaths recorded.
This was comparable to the year before when falls from heights represented 57% of deaths suffered by building staff.
Only one in 20 of the British workforce are in construction. But the trade accounts for 27% of fatal injuries to employees and 10% of reported major injuries.
Heather Bryant, head of HSE’s Construction Sector, said that the building profession still remains one of Britain’s most dangerous sectors.
She said: “Year on year we are seeing a downward trend but far too many employees are still being killed or seriously injured at work.”
Ms Bryant called this figure “unacceptable” as several could have been prevented with simple safety measures.
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