Construction fatalities down from Covid peak

Fatalities in the construction sector decreased by a third as the impact of the Covid pandemic wore off.

A total of 30 workers died over the course of 2021/22, according to preliminary data released by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). This compares with 44 the previous year and 46 in 2019/20.

The increase in recent years was due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the HSE said.

“Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, the rate of fatal injury to workers showed a downward trend, with signs of flattening out in more recent years,” the report reads.

“In 2021/22 the rate was similar to the pre-coronavirus levels.”

The rate of fatalities in 2021/2022 is the lowest recorded over the past five years.

Five members of the public also died in accidents related to construction in 2021/22, equivalent to the average for the past five years.

Falls from height remain the biggest cause of death, causing more than half of all the fatalities reported over the past five years.

Earlier this week a roofing boss got a suspended sentence of eight weeks’ imprisonment after a subcontractor died falling off a roof.

The rate of fatal injury is also around four times the rate across the UK’s full workforce.

However, there was a 5 per cent increase in non-fatal injuries and ill-health cases. The HSE recorded 78,000 injuries in comparison with 74,000 in the previous year. These included mental health cases.

Injuries were also showing a downward trend before the coronavirus pandemic, the HSE said.

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