The number of enforcement and prohibition notices issued by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in construction in 2019/20 fell by 32%, while the average value of fines per conviction halved, new figures have revealed.
The HSE issued 2,030 notices in 2019/20 (1,086 prohibition notices and 944 enforcement notices), compared to 2,969 the previous year.
Meanwhile, the average value of fines per conviction has halved. In 2019/20, the average fine per conviction was £60,000, down from £126,000 the year before. In 2019/20, there were 143 prosecution cases and 137 convictions (96%), with a total of £8.3m in fines. The year before, there were 157 prosecutions and 146 convictions (93%), leading to £18.5m in fines.
The figures came as the HSE released its annual statistics on ill health and injury in the workplace.
In construction, a total of 81,000 workers self-reported as suffering from work-related ill health – a rate that was broadly flat compared to the previous year. Musculoskeletal disorders accounted for just less than 60% of all ill health in the sector (an estimated 46,000 cases), with another 26% of cases relating to stress, depression and anxiety.
Stress, depression and anxiety appears to be rising slowly in construction, with 21,000 cases in 2019/20, although the rate of 0.9% (910 cases per 100,000 workers) is significantly lower than the “all-industry” measure of 1.6%.
Meanwhile, the rate of self-reported non-fatal injuries was on a downward trend, with 61,000 such accidents reported in 2019/20.
As reported earlier in the year, there were 40 construction deaths recorded in 2019/20, up from 37 the previous year, and above the five-year average of 37 (2015/16-2019/20).