Union research shows 49 people died in the construction industry last year

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Construction deaths are likely to rise as a result of safety cuts, UCATT has warned.

Speaking after research showed 49 people died while working in construction last year, general secretary Steve Murphy said: “It is vital to remember that each of these deaths was an individual tragedy. Construction deaths remain far too high and many of these deaths could have been prevented.

“Sadly construction deaths are likely to rise in future. After every previous recession as the construction industry has recovered there has been a large increase in deaths. These dangers will be increased due to the cutbacks to the Health and Safety Executive and the government’s attacks on safety laws.”

The research shows that construction fatalities were highest in 2011/12 in the Midlands, the North West, Eastern England, the South East and South West.

There were a total of 49 construction fatalities in 2011/12, one fewer than in 2010/11, however due to the on-going recession and fewer people working in the industry, the number of deaths per 100,000 workers has remained unchanged.

The highest number of deaths was in the Midlands where eight workers were killed, an increase of 2 on the previous year. The number of deaths in the West Midlands doubled from three to six.

There were also seven fatalities in the North West and the South East, in both cases an increase on the previous year. There was also a major increase in deaths in the South West where fatalities doubled from three to six, in 2011/12.

Eastern England also saw seven construction deaths, which was actually a decrease on the previous year when ten construction workers were killed.

Of the remaining regions there were four deaths in London, compared to eight in 2010/11. In Scotland and Wales there were three deaths in both countries, compared to a single fatality in both nations the previous year. Yorkshire saw a big reduction in deaths with three workers being killed compared to seven the previous year. There were no construction fatalities in the North East in 2011/12.

The most common form of fatal injury was by far falls from height, a total of 27 workers 56% of all those killed last year, suffered this form of injury.


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