The Health and Safety Authority has published its 2014 Annual Report and a Summary of Injury, Illness and Fatality Statistics 2013-2014.
This report provides details of key achievements, programmes and enforcements for 2014 and show that there were 10,719 inspections and investigations carried out across all sectors last year which resulted in enforcement action being required in 9% of these cases.
Of the key sectors, 2,758 inspections were carried out in construction, 2,590 in agriculture and 1,005 under chemicals legislation. A total of 32 prosecutions were concluded for serious safety and health breaches, with imposed fines totalling €293,000.
Main points from the report include:
- 56 fatal workplace accidents reported in 2014, compared to 47 in 2013
- 5 of the fatalities were as a result of a fall from height
- Overall worker fatality rate increased to 2.5 per 100,000 workers in 2014 from 2.1 per 100,000 in 2013
- There were 7,431 non-fatal injuries reported in 2014, compared to 6,598 in 2013
- Reported non-fatal injuries increased to 3.7 per 1,000 workers from 3.4 per 1,000 in 2013
There were 8 fatalities in the construction sector during 2014 (2 were non-workers), which translates to a rate of 5.5 per 100,000 workers down from a rate of 9.8 recorded in 2013
When it comes to fatal injuries, those most at risk to be the self-employed in the Construction and Agricultural, forestry and fishing industry
Commenting on the Report, Martin O’Halloran, CEO of the Health and Safety Authority said: “We did notice an increase in construction activity last year and we also saw a slight increase in reported injuries. Overall the rate of compliance in the sector remains high but our concern is for the future. Studies show that inexperienced workers, in any sector, are four times more likely to be injured than their more experienced colleagues. There are a number of strategies that can be employed to prevent this such as proper supervision, training and risk-management. Employers must be vigilant when it comes to ensuring that newly hired workers are protected from injury. We will continue to raise awareness through engagement and collaboration with employer and employees groups and other agencies.”