Subject Material

Health and Safety in the Construction Industry

Published: 26.06.2013, Updated: 05.03.2017
Construction Workers

Health and safety are important considerations in any industry and the construction industry is no exception. What have you learned about health and safety on your course? Use five minutes to note down as much as you can about causes of accidents in the construction industry.

The construction industry is considered a high risk industry. It accounts for 22% of fatal injuries to employees in the UK. However, there has been a marked reduction in the number of fatalities over the last 20 years; 49 in 2011, reduced from about 125 in 1990/91. There were also 74000 cases of work-related ill health in 2011. (Statistics - Construction Industry UK )

Watch the following video to find out more about the number of workers fatally injured on construction sites and the causes of the accidents. Copy the table and fill in the information

Deaths and Injuries in the Construction Industry in the UKNumbers
Deaths caused by injuries in the last 25 years 
Persons suffering from long term health effects 
Average deaths per year 
Fall from a height 
Struck by an object 
Run over 
Structure collapse 
A number of ways. Give examples 


You may have to watch the video a few times. When you have collected all the statistics, do the tasks below.




Make a pie chart of the statistics you have collected from the video, illustrating the percentage of fatalities for each type of accident in the construction industry.


  1. The following words and phrases are used in the video. In pairs, explain in English what they mean.
    • construction site
    • long term health effects
    • on average
    • structure collapse
    • electrocution
    • responsibility
    • working space
    • induction process
    • site specific induction
    • site building manager
    • emergency procedure
    • appropriate
    • sticker
    • key personnel
  2. Make a task using these words and phrases from the video and give it to another pair to solve. For example, you could use to make a glossary, a multiple choice or a pair off task.
  3. Group game.
    Vocabulary Game

    Divide the class into two groups.
    Divide the phrases above between the groups.
    Each group makes one sentence about construction for each of their phrases. Teacher checks and corrects the sentences.
    Group 1 sits on one side of the table and Group 2 on the other.
    Group 1 reads out one of their sentences and Group 2 translates it into Norwegian. If the translation is judged correct by the teacher Group 2 wins a hostage from Group 1.
    Group 2 presents one of their sentences and Group 1 tries to translate it. If the translation is correct they win their hostage back again.
    At the end the group with most hostages wins.




  1. What do you think of the way in which safety is presented here? Is it amusing? Do you think this is an effective way of making workers aware of dangers in the workplace? Why / why not?
  2. Why do you think the construction industry is a high risk industry with a large number of fatalities per year?

Safety Presentation

How would you present health and safety to a new student in the workshop at school? Make a short video, roleplay or other type of presentation.

Board Game

Make a board game based on the video. Some suggestions for moves:

    You are hit by ......, move back
    You have succeeded in ....., move forward .... spaces
    You have to wait for a ......... to pass, miss a turn
    You are injured after a fall and have to stay in hospital,  miss 3 turns