Ten fatalities recorded at CRH locations in 2017

The number of fatalities has risen in the last two years but number of injuries is falling

CRH is aiming to have zero fatalities by 2020. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

CRH is aiming to have zero fatalities by 2020. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons


Some 10 people died across CRH operating locations last year with three people killed in road traffic accidents, according to the company’s sustainability report.

The Irish building materials group. which employs more than 85,000 people active across 3,600 locations, noted that three employees and seven contractors in subsidiary companies died in work place accidents in 2017.

Additionally, there was one employee fatality in a joint venture, an organisation in which the company has a minority stake and no management control.

While CRH is aiming to have zero fatalities by 2020, the number of people who died across its sites actually increased last year on the previous two years.

In 2016, six people died, three of whom were employees, while in 2015 two contractors died at group subsidiaries.

In a statement to The Irish Times, CRH said it deeply regrets “that a number of fatalities involving employees and contractors both onsite and offsite occurred” during 2017.

“We are determined to learn from these incidents and do even more to ensure that all of our people return home safe to their families at the end of every working day,” it added.

Ongoing challenge

In its report, the company said: “Achieving the goal of zero injuries at every location is an ongoing challenge . . . eliminating fatalities continues to be the highest priority across the group.”

The main causes of death at CRH sites between 2008 and 2017 include mobile plant machinery on and off site (43 per cent of fatalities), falling objects, and falls from a height.

In its “developing our safety culture” section, CRH said: “We employ contractors to carry out many different functions, from specialised work to supplementing labour requirements and delivering products. However, this presents a challenge as we do not have direct control over our contractor processes, an issue that is seen across our industry.”

Although fatality numbers are increasing, accident frequency and severity rates are reducing, CRH said. Accident frequency fell 12 per cent year on year while severity rates reduced by 10 per cent.

Some 27 per cent of CRH accidents are caused by slips, trips or falls while falling or moving objects caused 25 per cent of accidents.