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Number of work-related deaths fell to lowest levels ever last year

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THE number of work-related deaths fell by 30pc last year to the lowest level recorded since the Health and Safety Authority was set up.

Its latest annual report shows a welcome reduction in work-related fatalities, with a total of 38 reported last year compared with 54 in 2020.

The report says that 7,437 Covid-19 inspections were carried out to check adherence to the Work Safely Protocol.

In the health and social care sector, 377 inspections were carried out that focused on the protection of workers against the risk of exposure to the virus.

The report says 90pc of employers had Covid control measures in place, 80pc had a Covid response plan, and 87pc had employees who had Covid induction training.

It says 77pc had appointed a Covid-19 worker representative.

The authority completed 2,402 indoor dining compliance checks, with a focus on operators having a system in place to only allow entry to those with an EU digital Covid cert.

Of the checks, it says 96pc had a system in place to check “immunity status”.

However, it says 7pc of indoor operators received an enforcement action while 10pc required additional compliance measures.

“Although the Health and Safety Authority saw a lower work-related fatality figure of 38 in Ireland last year, their continued focus is vital in areas such as farming, healthcare and construction where there is higher risk of occupational injury or illness,” said Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail, Damien English.

“The HSA has been very successful in promoting use of their many free online tools, courses and supports and I’d encourage all employers and workers, including the self-employed, to avail of them.”

Health and Safety Authority CEO, Dr Sharon McGuinness, said the authority is expanding its workforce and re-organising its structure to introduce a new Occupational Health division.

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“This new division will centre its focus on various safety and health concerns in Irish workplace including the impacts of the pandemic in accelerating the move to remote or hybrid working, the continued growth of the gig economy, the particular needs of vulnerable workers and migrant groups, and the impact of psychosocial issues in the workplace,” she said.

The report says 7,477 inspections were completed across all sectors in 2021, and 1,109 investigations on foot of incident reports and complaints.

Of the inspections, 1,383 related to chemicals and 666 to dangerous goods carried by road.

A total of 87 chemical products were removed from the market and 61 products removed from sale to the public due to non-compliance with labelling and packaging requirements.


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