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December 17, 2020

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HSA releases Annual Review of Workplace Injury, Illness and Fatality Statistics, 2018-2019

The Health and Safety Authority’s Annual Review of Workplace Injury, Illness and Fatality presents the most recently available data on occupational deaths, injuries and illnesses in Ireland.

Key points include:

  • There were 47 fatal work-related accidents were reported to the Authority in 2019, representing a substantial increase from 2018, which was the lowest year on record with 39 fatal accidents.
  • Agriculture, which accounted for 19 of the 47 deaths, remains the most dangerous sector in which to work, with the evidence suggesting that older farmers are most at risk.
  • The number of fatalities in the construction sector more than doubled in 2019.
  • The number of work-related non-fatal injuries also increased in 2019, with 9,335 reported to the Authority.
  • Manual handling leading to internal injuries was the most common cause of workplace accidents in 2019, representing almost a third (29%) of all non-fatal accidents reported to the Authority.
  • Slips or falls were the second most common at 24%.
  • The workforce is getting older which is presenting new challenges. Of the 47 fatal accidents in 2019, 16 (34%) were aged over 65. This age group was particularly prominent in the Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing sector, where 13 (59%) of the fatal accidents reported occurred to victims aged 65 years or more.
  • In 2019, the Authority hosted a summit on the Future of Workers and Work, which looked at the challenges and opportunities that new ways of working present for workers and employers. The ageing workforce was highlighted as a particular group requiring focus in the workplace now and in the future.
  • The Authority urges all employers to implement tailored health and safety policies designed with the unique requirements of older workers in mind, and also stresses that people must also recognise their own limitations as they age which may affect their ability to work.
  • One area that saw improvements in 2018 was the number of work days lost to work-related non-fatal injuries. This decreased by 13%, from 709,544 in the five-year average for 2014-2018 to 620,800 in 2018, with men more likely to be absent from work as a result of injury compared to women.
  • In 2018, there were 9.4 non-fatal injuries leading to four or more days absence from work for every 1,000 male workers compared with 6.5 per 1,000 female workers.

Click here to download the HSA’s Annual Review of Workplace Injury, Illness and Fatality report.

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