Fatal injuries in UK construction increase

By Neil Gerrard11 July 2023

Close-up of a construction worker's hand holding a hard hat against their hip. Image: Suriyo via AdobeStock (stock.adobe.com)

The number of fatal injuries in construction in the United Kingdom (UK) increased to 45 in 2022/23, up from 29 in the previous year, according to new official figures.

The latest report from the UK’s health and safety watchdog, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), on work-related fatal injuries, shows that the number of fatalities in construction was higher than in any other industry.

The total of 45 deaths was also higher than the five-year average of 37 fatalities per year.

However, the HSE said the increase of 16 fatal injuries between 2021/22 and 2022/23 was “not statistically significant”.

Meanwhile, the rate of fatal injury in construction, which tracks the number of fatal injuries per 100,000 worders, was around four times higher as the average rate across all industries.

While the absolute number of construction deaths was higher than any other industry, the HSE said that the rate of fatal injury was nonetheless “considerably less” than the rate in agriculture, forestry and fishing.

The rate of fatal injuries in construction was 2.1 per 100,000 workers in 2022/23, compared to an annual average of 1.72 per 100,000 for the 2018/9-2022/23 period.

That compared to a rate of 0.41 fatal injuries per 100,000 workers in 2022/23 across all industries. In waste and recycling the rate was 5.02 and in agriculture, forestry and fishing it was 7.87.

Across all industries, the most common kinds of fatal accidents were: falls from height (40), struck by moving, including flying/falling object (29), struck by moving vehicle (20), trapped by something collapsing/overturning (12) and contact with moving machinery (9).

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Mike Hayes Editor, Construction Europe Tel: +44 (0)1892 786 231 E-mail: mike.hayes@khl.com
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