The General Secretary for construction union UCATT, Steve Murphy has warned that “The combination of increased construction activity and the Government’s attacks on safety laws is sadly likely to lead to an increase in construction deaths in the future.”
The warning comes after figures released by the union revealed that deaths in the construction industry in London had increased from the previous year.
And construction workers in Yorkshire saw the number of deaths double in 2012/13 from 3 to 6. In Scotland deaths increased from 3 to 5 and there was 1 death in the north-east compared to none the previous year.
The findings found that overall deaths in the UK decreased from 39 down from 49 in 2011/12. However, Murphy doesn’t believe the reduction is down to improvements in safety.
“The reduction in construction deaths is welcome. However, construction remains the most dangerous industry in the UK. The reduction in deaths is primarily due to falling workloads and the industry working in a more sensible manner, rather than any significant improvement in safety.”
The areas of the UK that saw a decrease in construction worker fatalities include the east of England, east and west Midlands, northwest, southeast and southwest.
Research found that the most common cause of death was falling from height which resulted in 23 of the 39 deaths (60%) – an increase on the previous year where falls from height accounted for 57% of all fatalities.