More men die at work than women


Men are much more likely than women to be killed or injured at work, according to new figures. Provisional statistics from the Health and Safety Authority show that 66 people were killed in the workplace in 1998 - a 40 per cent increase on workplace fatalities compared to 1997.

Male deaths in the agriculture sector in 1998 accounted for 20 fatalities, while six females (including children) suffered fatal accidents on farms. At least four men died in the fishing industry, one died in mining and two were killed in the manufacturing sector.

More than 20 men died in the construction sector, three in the transport sector, one in public administration and one in other job categories. Two boys died in the educational sector.

Men also accounted for most workplace fatalities in 1997, when 13 men and two women died on farms; four men and one woman died in the fishing sector; one man died in mining; and one man and one woman died in manufacturing.

As many as 15 men and one woman died in the construction industry; two men died in the wholesale/retail sector; six in transport and storage; and two men died in other categories.

In all, 44 men and four women died in the workplace in 1997.

Taken with the provisional figures for 1998, some 100 men and 10 women died in the workplace over the past two years. This suggests that men are 10 times more likely to die in the workplace than women. Of the 66 deaths in 1998, 55 occurred in the male-dominated high-risk sectors of farming, fishing and construction. As many as eight farm deaths were caused by transport equipment, five from falling objects, three were killed by animals and three died due to machinery. All six fatalities in the fishing industry were of self-employed workers, at least four of whom were men.

Of the 22 who died in the construction sector in 1998, at least 21 were men. Eight of these fatalities resulted from falls from heights. Others involved collapsing walls, burial in trenches and transport accidents.

A further five workers died in construction maintenance work, three from falls and two from accidents involving machinery.

The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) has also shown The Irish Times provisional figures of accidents by sector and gender for 1998. They reveal that some 4,000 men suffered workplace accidents compared to slightly more than 1,000 women. The figures list only accidents reported by employers to the HSA which require a worker's absence for three or more days.

The figures do not include all accidents resulting in three days' leave because not all employers fulfil their legal and moral duty of reporting such accidents to the HSA.

Of the 66 reported accidents in the agriculture, hunting and forestry sector, 54 involved men. All seven fishing accidents that were reported involved men. All but two of the 114 mining and quarrying accidents affected men, while in the electricity, gas and water supply sector, 156 of the 159 reported accidents involved men.

Although women accounted for 472 notified accidents in manufacturing, almost four times that number of men (1,881) suffered workplace accidents. Men accounted for 494 accidents in construction, compared to seven women who were injured. The category embracing the wholesale and retail trade, the repair of motor vehicles, motorcycles and personal and household goods saw 61 female workplace accident victims compared to 159 men.

The transport, storage and communication sector reported 64 accidents involving women's absence for three days, but the same sector reported 7 1/2 times that number of men (477) injured at work.

Financial intermediation reported 24 accidents to men and eight to women, while real estate, renting and business activities reported 60 accidents to men and 23 to women.

Forty-two women and more than eight times that number of men (349) in public administration and defence were involved in notifiable accidents, while the figures for the education sector were 44 men and 31 women.

Only in two categories did the number of women required to leave work for three days or more due to a workplace accident outnumber the figures for men. In health and social work, 218 women suffered accidents compared to 88 men, while in hotels and restaurants, the figures were 61 women and 40 men.