Data highlights that a quarter of fatal injuries to workers in the last year were in the construction sector

In the last year, construction was the industry with the highest number of deaths at work, reporting 30 deaths in 2022. As the weather gets colder and outdoor conditions worsen, construction workers are being warned to take caution.

The construction industry made up a quarter of fatal injuries to workers in 2022 and the fatal injury rate of 1.63 per 100,000 workers was nearly double sectors such as manufacturing and transportation or storage.

Falling from height is still the number one cause of fatal and non-fatal incidents in the construction sector – accounting for half of all deaths on site – followed by being struck by a moving vehicle.

The findings, collated by specialist providers of plant hire in London, Herts Tools, used construction statistics from the Workplace Fatal Injuries report 2022 and Health and Safety Executive reports from 2018 to 2021. The analysis demonstrates the impact of accidents in the construction industry and how workers and workplaces are being affected.

Every year, there are 61,000 injuries to construction workers in the UK, on average, with a quarter of these caused by slips, trips and falls.

The total cost of injuries in 2019/20 is estimated at £1.4 billion. This accounts for 7% of the total £18.7 billion spent on all work-related ill health and injury costs across the UK> The majority of these costs fell upon the injured/ill individuals themselves.

Stefano Lobban, director at Herts Tools, says:
“Though accidents to an extent are inevitable in the construction sector, we must constantly work to reduce them. With fatalities continuing to rise despite the UK having some of the most stringent health and safety rules worldwide, these most recent results highlight how far we still have to go.

Whether it’s emphasising risks or educating workers to conduct their own risk assessments on the job, training is essential for worker protection. Making sure employees have all the PPE they require, such as helmets, safety goggles, and slip-resistant footwear, is also important.

I’m hoping that the industry will take notice of these findings and that the number of incidents will decline in the upcoming year.”

How can companies prevent accidents on construction sites?
• Provide training and plan all work at height properly
• Use the correct equipment and regularly check it to prevent falls
• Avoid slips and trips by keeping floors clean, dry, well-lit and free of obstacles
• Clear up spillages quickly, deep cleaning after working hours
• Install safety guards on machinery and provide safety goggles
• Store heavy objects close to the ground, fit debris nets and outlaw throwing tools