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Construction industry remains at top of work deaths table

4 July 2018
building site

Building sites kill four times as many workers as the all industry average. Photo from HSE.

The construction industry has once again topped the table of workplace deaths in figures published today (4 July) by the Health & Safety Executive (HSE).

Of the 144 deaths resulting from incidents at work in the year April 2017 to March 2018, 38 were in construction - four times the all industry average. A further 15 fatal injuries were recorded in both the manufacturing and the transport & storage sectors.

The three most common causes of fatal injuries continue to be: workers falling from height (35); being struck by a moving vehicle (26); being struck by a moving object (23). These three causes accounted for nearly 60% of fatal injuries in 2017/18.

The new figures also highlight the risk of an ageing workforce and an older retirement age, with 40% of fatal injuries being to workers aged 60 or more, even though that age group makes up only around 10% of the workforce.

In addition, there were 100 members of the public fatally injured in incidents connected to work being carried out, just over half of them occurring on railways.

The number of deaths in 2017/18 is an increase of nine over the year before. However, there has been a long-term reduction in the number of fatalities associated with work since 1981 and the number has remained broadly level in recent years.

Martin Temple, who Chairs HSE, said: “Despite the fact that Britain’s health & safety record is the envy of much of the world, the increase in the number of workers fatally injured is clearly a source of concern... the figures serve as a reminder of why health & safety is so important and that we must not become complacent as we continue on our mission to prevent all forms of injury, death and ill health at work.”

These figures record deaths resulting from injuries at work only. There are many more resulting from illnesses contracted as a result of working conditions.

The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety.  

Further information on these statistics can be found at:


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