There were 50 construction fatalities in 2010/11, a 22% increase on the previous 12 months. Construction has the highest number of workplace deaths in Britain.
UCATT said the rise in fatalities is “particularly disturbing” as the industry remains in the doldrums with workloads relatively low.
The greatest increase in the number of deaths was in Eastern England where the number of construction workers killed rose from 3 to 10, making it the region with the highest number of deaths in Britain in 2010/11.
The number of deaths also increased in London, rising from 5 to 8, Wales and the South West, which increased from 2 to 4, and Yorkshire which increased from 6 to 7.
The number of workers killed in several regions remained the same as in the previous year, with 6 workers being killed in the North West, and 3 being killed in the North East.
The number of deaths in the remaining regions slightly decreased, there were 6 deaths in the Midlands a reduction of one on the previous year, 5 deaths in the South East also one fewer than the previous year. In Scotland 1 worker was killed compared to 3 deaths in 2009/10.
In previous years falls from heights has been by far the most common form of fatal accident. In 2010/11 13 workers were killed in this way. Thirteen workers were killed as a result of collapses, a type of fatal accident, which had not been common in previous years.
For the second year running the number of people killed after by being hit by a moving vehicle increased with 8 workers suffering this form of accident compared to 5 in 2009/10. Being hit by a moving/falling object killed a total of 6 workers.
George Guy, Acting General Secretary of UCATT, said: “The steep rise in construction fatalities is deeply troubling especially given that there has been no obvious recovery in the construction industry. Given the Government’s policies of cutting back on the funding of the Health and Safety Executive and plans to cut crucial safety regulations, it is likely that deaths will rise.”
Mr Guy, added: “As the industry recovers from recession it is almost certain that without adequate enforcement and inspection regimes the number of deaths will increase.”