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Perception of site safety improves

Two thirds of construction workers feel safer at work than they did five years ago, a new study reveals

Posted by Dave Higgitt | March 12, 2015 | Security & safety

New research conducted by a leading business insurance website has revealed that two thirds of construction workers feel safer in their work environment than they did this time five years ago. Furthermore, just under one tenth of those polled in the study had suffered an injury from their job whilst at work.

After reports last year revealing that there had been an increase in the amount of deaths on construction sites within the UK, a business insurance website specialising in the construction industry decided to carry out its own research and look into how safe the average UK construction worker feels during a typical working day.

The team at polled a total of 1,849 UK workers aged 23 and over for their research. In order to garner a valid set of results, each respondent had worked at least five years or more within the construction industry in a variety of different sectors (building, plumbing, carpentry, electricians etc). Of the workers questioned, almost three quarters (73 percent) stated that they were either ‘self-employed’ or a ‘part-time freelancer.’

Participants were initially asked if, in general, they feel safer and more secure when at work than they did this time five years ago. Over two thirds of respondents (67 percent) agreed with this statement, and when asked to expand and list the main reasons behind this, the most common answers given were as follows:  

1 Better on-the-job safety training (58 percent)

2 A more safety-aware boss/employer (32 percent)

3 Better implementation of health and safety guidelines put in place (17 percent)

4 Stricter laws within the industry for companies to adhere to (12 percent)

5 I am better/more confident in my job (6 percent)  

Next, in order to determine current threats facing those working in the industry, respondents were asked to give the reasons they are likely to feel unsafe or insecure in their jobs. “The threat of sustaining an injury at work and not being able to work” (49 percent) and “not having enough work coming in to make a substantial income to support my family” (28 percent) were the most common reasons given.

Of the participants, less than one in ten (9 percent) admitted that they had suffered a serious injury at work requiring either medical attention or time off work during the past five years. Of this percentage, just 13 percent revealed that the cause of their injury had been as a result of neglect or lack of safety measures on their employer’s part.

Lyndon Wood, CEO and creator of, made the following comments regarding the study’s findings: “I think in terms of employee’s health and safety the results of our study and the fact that so many workers feel safer than they did five years ago are extremely positive. Of course, working in an industry such as construction is never going to be as risk-free as working in an office, but that is just the chance that many individuals who love their job have to take every day.

“It is also telling that almost half of workers consider their biggest worry at work to be what would happen to their income should they sustain a serious injury or illness. It is examples such as this that emphasize why it’s so important a strong insurance policy is put in place within all UK construction companies, not just for business owners, but also for employees’ peace of mind.”

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