Tuesday 23 January 2018

Concern as number of deaths in workplace on the rise

Shane Hickey

THE number of people who died in the workplace was up last year -- with most fatalities occurring on farms.

The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) said most of the 48 deaths were due to falls from a height.

Enterprise Minister Richard Bruton, launching the annual report for 2010 from the HSA, said he was "extremely concerned" about the rise in fatalities.

The figures for last year show a rise from the 43 who died in 2009. Most of the deaths were as a result of falls in farming and construction where roof repair and maintenance was taking place.

A total of 29 people died in the agriculture, forestry and fishing areas. This is almost five times the number of people who died in the construction sector.


"Although 2009 represented a record low, every workplace fatality is avoidable and is a terrible tragedy for a family," Mr Bruton said.

"Combating workplace fatalities represents a huge challenge for the HSA and employers across the country and I will assist them in any way I can."

Of the 48 people who died, six were non-workers and 22 were self-employed people.

"This is the highest percentage of fatalities involving the self-employed ever recorded by the authority," the report said.

"Another unique statistic that arose in 2010 is that all workplace fatalities involved male victims."

A total of 10 deaths were recorded where someone had fallen from a height. Five people died from tree felling while one person was killed while pruning trees beneath power lines.

Seven of those who died were aged over 65.

The HSA carried out over 16,000 inspections last year. Almost one in every 10 resulted in enforcement action.

"Of the 16,714 inspections we carried out, over 70pc resulted in some form of advice being given," CEO Martin O'Halloran said.

Irish Independent

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