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Fatal injury statistics for 2015/16

As a grim reminder of how dangerous a number of workplaces can be, the 2015/16 fatal injury statistics have been published by the HSE. In this period a total of 144 people were killed by workplace accidents, with 43 of those fatal injuries happening to workers in construction. Sadly although the amount of workplace deaths has fallen over the last 20 years, construction remains one of the most dangerous professions to work in.

The 43 construction deaths in 2015/16 is the same as the five year average of 43, showing that work related construction death rates are leveling off, however, all of us in the industry would agree that 43 deaths is still way too high. While a number of these deaths will occur on large building sites, the risk of injury or death while working in residential properties should not be underestimated, as the ongoing ‘Think before you drill’ campaign has shown (see blog below).

Adhering to health and safety legislation may seem like additional red tape, but it could save your life. Ignoring health and safety regulations can result in injury, not just to you or your colleagues, but also your customers - especially in homes with more vulnerable people such as the elderly or the very young, where even a simple trip hazard can result in serious injuries.

Your families want you home safely each night, so think of health and safety as your insurance policy to help get you safely through the working day. According to the HSE, each year in the construction industry around 3% of workers suffer from an illness they believe to be work related (some of them fatal such as Asbestos related diseases) and 3% of workers sustain a work related injury. This all leads to some 1.7 million working days a year lost, and if you are self-employed, equates to a considerable loss in income.

So the next time you want to skip that risk assessment, or cut a corner on a job because ‘it will never happen to me’ just remember that those 43 people thought it would never happen to them either. Until next time, stay safe out there...