Construction is still the most dangerous sector to work in

The construction industry continues to kill more of its employees each year than any other individual sector.

Figures published by the Health & Safety Executive at the end of October show that of 229 people killed at work in 2007/8, almost a third (72) were working in construction.

In the workforce in general, the rate of injury was 105 per 100,000 people, more than a third of those injuries caused by slipping or tripping.

There were 299,000 reportable injuries, according to the Labour Force Survey (LFS) – a rate of 1,000 per 100,000 workers. A total of 34million working days were lost (1.4 days per worker), 28million due to work-related ill health and 6million due to workplace injury.

HSE say the Revitalising Health & Safety target to reduce the incidence rate of work-related ill health by 20% between 1999/2000 and 2009/10 is probably not on track, although there have been improvements since 1999/2000.

There were a total of 13,750 enforcement notices issued by all enforcing authorities in the year. There were 1,137 offences prosecuted by HSE, 1,028 of which were completed, resulting in 839 convictions (82%). There were some fines of more than £100,000, but if they are excluded the average penalty was £7,809.

Local authorities brought 354 prosecutions that were completed, resulting in 334 convictions (94%). The level of fines was similar.

On ill health, 2.1million people were suffering from an illness (of which 563,000 were new cases) they believed was caused or made worse by their current or past work.