1 Nov 2012

Construction - Latest H&S statistics for 2011/12

The HSE has released the latest Health and Safety Statistics for 2011/12 relating to the Construction industry. The document can be found at: www.hse.gov.uk
Twenty year trend in worker fatalities

There have been significant reductions in the number and rate of injury over the last 20 years or more. Nevertheless, construction remains a high risk industry. Although it accounts for only about 5% of the employees in Britain it still accounts for 22% of fatal injuries to employees and 10% of reported major injuries.

The latest results in construction show:
  • 49 fatal injuries to workers. 23 of these fatalities were to the self-employed. This compares with an average of 59 over the previous five years – including an average of 19 to the self-employed (RIDDOR);
  • Over 5,000 occupational cancer cases are estimated to arise each year as a result of past exposures in the construction sector (Research report 931 “The burden of occupational cancer in Great Britain”);
  • There were an estimated 74,000 total cases and 31,000 new cases of work-related ill health (LFS);
  • An estimated 1.7 million working days were lost due to work-related ill health and a further 0.6 million due to workplace injuries. This equates to 0.87 and 0.34 days per worker. (LFS)
  • The figures also highlight that "Falls" remain the major contributor to worker fatalities (repsonsible for over half of them).

The Chief Inspector of Construction at HSE, Philip White, said:

"Year after year, construction continues to be one of the most dangerous sectors in British industry. Though the numbers are down in the long term, thousands of workers are being seriously injured or made unwell by their work.

"We all need to refocus our efforts and take on the responsibility to ensure the serious risks that continue to cause death and serious injury, are sensibly managed. Many of these incidents are entirely preventable.

"The Olympics showed us that construction can be an example to all other industries when it is properly focused on managing risk and simple steps are put in place to ensure workers' health and safety."

The construction industry sector recorded 2230 major injuries in 2011/12 down from 2307 in 2010/11 and 5391 over-3-day injuries, up from 4813 in 2010/11 to 5391 in 2011/12 (though this is in part due to reclassification of figures), though this figure is still some way down on the five year average. All non fatal injuries saw a seven percent increase from 7120 in 2010/11 to 7621 for 2011/12.

The latest statistics indicate there is still room for improvement in H&S matters within the industry. The need to keep driving fatality and injury rates down remain a priority and, as ever, we hope that our Good to Go Safety systems can go some way to help meet those objectives. 

By ensuring employees carry out pre-use checks of equipment (whether it be scaffolding, ladders, harness or MEWPs) we strive to reduce the risk of equipment failure and potential injury or fatality. The time and cost to carry out routine inspections using Good to Go Safety systems is exceptionally low. Compare it to the cost of an injury or an enforcement notice (figures relating to these are also included in the report) and logic should demand that you invest in the system and, as a result, your employees safety. 

For more information relating to the Good to Go Safety inspection systems visit www.goodtogosafety.co.uk

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