25/04/2018

Over 500 People Killed As A Result Of Workplace Incidents

Over 500 people have been killed and thousands more seriously injured due to workplace activity in Ireland between 2008 and 2017.

The figures have been released ahead of 'Workers' Memorial Day', which remembers all those injured or killed in work related accidents. In 2018, 'Workers' Memorial Day' will be held on Saturday, 28 April.

The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) along with the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU), Ibec and the Construction Industry Federation (CIF), are encouraging organisations to mark the occasion with awareness raising initiatives.

Organisations are being encouraged to take this opportunity to review their approach to safety and health in the workplace and to consider initiatives such as in-house training sessions, toolbox talks or to promote safety through their websites, social media presence, and displays in offices.

Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen TD, whose remit includes workplace safety and health, said that a collaborative approach is vital: "The purpose of Workers' Memorial Day is to remember accident victims and to collectively reflect on what can be done to prevent future tragedy. Workplace safety is everyone's responsibility. Safety conditions are more likely to be improved when employers and employees engage proactively to identify risks in the workplace and the measures needed to eliminate them. I am calling on all businesses, trade unions, workers and self-employed persons to strive to make their workplaces safer and healthier."

Martin O'Halloran, Chief Executive of the HSA, also said: "If you average out the number of fatal accidents over the last 10 years, nearly every week one person has died due to work activity. Clearly prevention is the best course of action to take. Our message to organisations is simple; protect your people, your business and reputation by identifying hazardous activity and putting plans in place to reduce risks. Don't wait until an accident or near miss occurs, make safety paramount today."

Danny McCoy, Chief Executive of Ibec added: "Workers' Memorial Day is a day for everyone to re-focus on preventing and reducing the incidence of fatalities and injuries. All employers and workers must place their, and their colleagues', personal safety, health and welfare at the centre of their thinking and organisational culture. Ibec is also committed to supporting the many businesses that are showing their dedication to the Health and Wellbeing of their employees. As Health and Wellbeing becomes more prevalent, Ibec will continue to lead the way by providing our members with the support they need to ensure that workers get the benefit of such initiatives."

(MH/LM)

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