Construction deaths increase by more than 50% in a year

Two workers assisting a third one who is on the floor injured. They are all wearing high-vis jackets.
(Image: Me Picture Akacin via

Great Britain’s construction sector recorded 45 fatal injuries during 2022/23, up from 29 the previous year, the latest Health and Safety Executive (HSE) data shows.

The five-year average for fatal injuries in the construction sector is 37.

One-hundred and thirty-five workers were killed in total across all industries in the country.

Construction remains the industry with the highest number of fatalities, followed by agriculture, forestry and fishing (21), manufacturing (15), transport and storage (15), and wholesale, retail and motor repair (15).

A graph with green bars and numbers
(Graph credit: HSE)

The three most common causes of fatal injuries across all industries were falls from height, being struck by a moving object and being struck by a moving vehicle.

Thirty-three of the total deaths recorded in this period were to workers aged 60 and over, 99 of workers aged 16 to 59, and three of age unknown.

Five-year fatal injury rate in construction

The rate of fatal injury in construction, which measures the rate of injury per 100,000 workers, has gone up to 2.10 in 2022/23 compared to an average of 1.72 from 2018/19 to 2022/23.

A graph with green bars and numbers
Rate of fatal injuries by selected main industry group (per 100,000 workers), 2022/23 and annual average for 2018/19-2022/23 (Graph credit: HSE)

The rate of fatal injury in construction, while around four times as high as the
average rate across all industries, is considerably less than the rate in
agriculture, forestry and fishing despite accounting for a greater number of
cases, where the rate was 7.87 in 2022/23 and 8.60 the previous period.

In June, a freedom of information request made by trade union Unite found that unannounced inspections by the HSE in the construction sector had fallen by nearly a third (32%) over the last decade.

During 2022/23, the safety watchdog carried out 7,647 spot checks, a  2% decline on the previous year when there were 7,793 inspections. In 2013/14, the safety watchdog made 11,303 proactive (unannounced) inspections.

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