28/05/2013

Work-Related Deaths Fall 11%

There was an 11% decrease in the number of work-related deaths in Ireland in 2012, according to a new report.

Jobs Minister Richard Bruton launched the Health and Safety Authority’s 2012 Annual Report and Statistics Summary for 2011 - 2012 today.

There were 48 work-related deaths reported to the Authority in 2012; a fall from the 54 reported in 2011.

Of the 48 fatalities, 42 involved workers and 22 involved self-employed persons, including 17 farmers.

13,835 workplace inspections and investigations were carried out in 2012. 6% of inspections resulted in formal enforcement action taken.

The Construction and Agriculture sectors had the highest number of inspections; 3,932 and 3,136 respectively.

The report also showed that there were 20 prosecutions concluded, with fines totaling €425,000.

In one case, an 18-month suspended sentence was imposed.

The worker fatality rate on 31 December 2012 was 2.3 per 100,000 workers.

There were 6,619 non-fatal injuries reported last year, representing a 5% decrease for the second year running.

Minister Bruton said: "Every workplace fatality is avoidable and represents a terrible tragedy for a family and a community, and combating workplace fatalities and injuries represents a huge challenge for both the HSA and employers.

"It is clear from the content of these reports that a lot has been achieved during 2012, and I would like to commend the Staff and Board of the Authority on the continued quality and volume of their work. Significant gains have been made in the area of occupational safety and health and chemicals regulation since the Authority’s establishment in 1989. Each year standards are steadily increasing and hopefully over the next few years we will maintain those gains and see sustained reductions in accidents, particularly in the agriculture sector."

Martin O’Halloran, CEO of the Authority, added: "I am pleased at the way that we have been able to vary our approach to gain maximum impact in relation to workplace safety and health and chemicals regulation. The use of guidance, advice and assistance as the primary tools of engagement means that formal enforcement and prosecutions are taken only when necessary. It also conveys an important message, we want to work with all enterprises, but those that disregard the safety and health of workers will be penalised."

(IT)

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