Journalist, SHP Online

July 14, 2016

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HSA publishes annual reports

The Health and Safety Authority (Ireland) has published its Annual Report for 2015 and Statistic Summary for 2014 – 2015. There were 10,880 workplace inspections and investigations carried out in 2015, with over half of these targeting the agriculture (3,056) and construction (3,932) sectors. The manufacturing sector received the third highest number of inspections with 1,108 carried out.

Key enforcement statistics from the report include:

  • 11% of all inspections and investigations were due to a fatality, serious accident, complaint or dangerous occurrence
  • 13% of inspections and investigations were carried out under chemicals legislation
  • 5% were return inspections due to low compliance
  • 9% of all inspections and investigations resulted in formal enforcement action (489 improvement notices and 488 prohibition notices issued)
  • There were 16 successful prosecutions concluded for health and safety breaches and fines of €541,750 were imposed.

Key injury, illness and fatality statistics include:

  • There were 56 work-related fatalities reported to the HSA in 2015, compared to 55 in 2014, 47 fatalities in 2013 and 48 in 2012
  • Of the fatalities in 2015, 50 involved workers, giving a worker fatality rate of 2.5 workers per 100,000
  • The highest number of fatalities (18) occurred in the agriculture sector
  • Self-employed workers were once again over-represented in fatal work accidents: 21 of the fatalities in 2015 involved self-employed persons
  • There were 7,775 non-fatal injuries reported to the HSA in 2015. Of these injuries, 7,443 (96%) involved workers, while the remaining 332 involved members of the public, including family members
  • The largest number of non-fatal injury reports to the HSA came from the health and social work sector (1,490).

Across all sectors there was a strong focus on issues such as occupational hygiene (690 inspections), work-related vehicle safety (358 inspections) and slips, trips and falls (569 inspections) during 2015.

Minister for Employment and Small Business, Pat Breen TD, who has workplace safety and health as part of his brief, said: “This report and the accompanying summary of workplace accident, illness and injury statistics illustrates the broad scope of the work of the Health and Safety Authority and its importance from both a social and economic perspective. We must protect workers while at the same time enabling enterprise to thrive. The Authority plays a vital role in promoting a safe and healthy work environment in all types of employment. Looking at the accident, injury and illness statistics it’s clear that while accidents are reducing in most sectors, we have to strengthen efforts to improve safety and prevent accidents in agriculture.”

Continuing on the theme of safety in agriculture, Martin O’Halloran, Chief Executive of the Health and Safety Authority said: “Agriculture related fatalities decreased from 30 in 2014 to 18 in 2015 and that is welcome. Another positive development has been the increased level of engagement from within the sector. I have always believed that the best people to implement change are farmers themselves, we saw evidence of that last year and we will be looking to build on it into the future.”

Copies of both reports are available at www.hsa.ie

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