Six construction workers were killed in just five days during one of the most grisly weeks for the industry in years.
On Monday October 18, a 23-year-old workers died after being trapped for several hours in a collapsed drainage trench in Bradford, despite emergency services staging a full-scale operation to save his life.
That Wednesday a worker died on the M25 motorway in Brentwood, Essex, followed the next day by two builders being killed as a gable wall collapsed on them during a barn conversion in Suffolk.
Two days later on 23 October, a 65 year old man died after being crushed under a lorry-load of bricks in Bollington, near Macclesfield.
That same day another construction worker was killed on a site at Chapel Hill Farm, Ilkeston, Derby.
The next week the Health and Safety Executive released figures showing the number of construction workers killed on site had fallen again with 42 fatalities in 2009/10.
The number killed was down on last year’s figure of 52 and continued a downward trend in fatalities from the record recent high of 105 in 2000/01.
The tragic spate of deaths raises fears that the improving industry trend could falter.
Philip White, HSE’s Chief Inspector of Construction, said: “While the fact that fewer people are being killed or seriously injured is encouraging, the construction industry retains its unwanted record of accounting for more fatal injuries than any other sector.
“The great tragedy is that so many of these deaths, injuries and illnesses are entirely preventable and can be tracked back to the same basic failings.”