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Major U.K. construction injuries continue to fall


LONDON—Statistics released by the Health and Safety Executive for 2005/2006 show the rate of fatal and major injuries in the United Kingdom's construction industry is continuing to fall.

According to the HSE, the body responsible for health and safety regulation in the United Kingdom, the rate of reported fatal injuries in construction sector between 1999/2000 and 2005/2006 has reduced by about 36% while the rate of reported major injuries to employees in construction reduced by about 22% over the same period.

Injuries due to slips and trips and manual handling have risen steadily over the past few years while those from falls from height and being struck by an object have been reduced substantially, the HSA found in its "Health and Safety Statistics 2005/06." According to the HSE, major injuries resulting from slips, trips and falls outnumber falls from height for the first time.

The report shows that there were 981 major injuries in construction caused by slips, trips or falls on the same level; 917 major injuries in construction caused by falls from height; 577 major injuries in construction while handling, lifting or carrying; and 572 major injuries in construction caused by struck by moving, including flying/falling, object.

The HSE's chief inspector of construction, Stephen Williams said: "There has been very good progress in reducing injuries due to falls and being hit by objects. This, coupled with the decrease in fatal injuries announced earlier this year (down to 59 from last year's total of 69) shows that the hard work by many in the industry is paying off.

However, slips and trips and manual handling injuries are increasing. It may be that they receive less attention because they rarely result in fatalities; nevertheless more needs to be done to prevent these types of injury. In particular, sites need to be kept tidy, which is hard work and requires persistence."

"We need to focus more on these areas, while maintaining the progress on falls from height. If the industry had made the same progress in these other areas it would have been close to meeting its own challenging targets," he added.