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Deaths at work increase

15 September 2001

Work-related deaths increased 34% to 295 last year, 106 of them in the construction industry. The number of major injuries, however, fell by 4.7% to 27,935.

Most of the fatalities were caused by falls from heights. The next most common cause was being hit by moving vehicles, then by being hit by falling or other moving objects, and finally by collapsing or overturning objects.

Commenting on the newly released figures, Health, Safety, Ethical & Environmental Commission chairman Bill Callaghan said the increase in fatalities goes against the trend of recent years. He also said most of the deaths could have been prevented.

Every work related death is one too many and represents a personal tragedy, he said.

In July, the Construction Products Association undertook to carry out a construction site survey in partnership with the Health, Safety, Ethical & Environmental Executive (HSE) to assess risks associated with materials and products.

The survey is an outcome of the construction industry\'s Health, Safety, Ethical & Environmental Summit, which was held in February.

And in October (beginning the 15th) there is the European Week for Safety & Health, for which an action pack of posters, stickers and fact sheets focussing on accident prevention is now available from the HSE.

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