Is construction the most dangerous industry in the UK?

Latest analysis from construction union UCATT, points to construction as the most dangerous industry in the UK. The total number of construction workers that suffered fatal injuries at work reached 42 in 2013/2014, up from 39 the year before. And construction fatalities represented 32% of all workplace deaths in 2013/2014, up 6% from 2012/2013.

The rate of fatalities per 100,000 workers for 2013/2014 stood at 1.98, marking an increase of 0.04 when compared with the 2012/2013 period. The North West saw the most significant increase in fatalities. The number of deaths in the region went from two to five. In the East Midlands, three workers lost their lives in occupational incidents, while in 2012/2013 no such fatalities occurred.

Falls from heights continues to be the most common type of fatal injury. In 2013/2014 it accounted for 50% of all fatalities, causing 21 deaths.

UCATT's general secretary Steve Murphy commented that construction injuries and deaths should not be a potential occupational hazard as most of them can be prevented. That is why it is alarming to see that the number of fatalities has risen during the analysed period, he said.

Murphy calls for employers risking the safety of their workers to be identified and then prosecuted. Otherwise, it is likely that the number of fatalities will increase, he added.