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Construction deaths highest in Yorkshire

Analysis by construction union UCATT has revealed that construction deaths were highest in Yorkshire last year, with six workers suffering fatal injuries at work.

In 2013/14 the number of construction workers killed at work rose to 42 from 39 the previous year.

Construction fatalities accounted for 32% of all workplace deaths in 2013/14 an increase of 6% on the previous year.

The rate of fatalities per 100,000 workers was 1.98. This was an increase of.0.04 on the previous 12 months.

The figure of six fatalities in Yorkshire was the same as 2012/13.

The largest increases in fatalities were in the North-west, where deaths rose to five from two, and the East Midlands, where three workers were killed compared with no fatalities in in 2012/13.

The most common form of fatal injury overwhelmingly remains falls from heights, which resulted in 21 deaths (50% of fatalities) in 2013/14.

An analysis of the age of workers when they suffered a fatal injury showed that the highest number of deaths occurred to workers aged between 45-54, with 13 deaths (31%); this was followed by the 55-64 age group, where there were 10 deaths (24% of the total).

UCATT general secretary Steve Murphy said: “It is important to remember that every single one of these fatalities was someone’s loved one, who went to work one day and did not come home. It is essential that construction injuries and deaths are not seen as a potential occupational hazard. The vast majority of deaths are entirely preventable.”

Mr Murphy added: “The rise in fatalities is deeply alarming and came before most parts of the construction industry even began to recover from recession. Unless action is taken to ensure that employers who risk the safety of workers are identified and prosecuted, the number of deaths is likely to increase.”

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