Agriculture accounts for highest number of work place fatalities

HSA finds that 21 of 56 fatalities in 2015 involved self-employed persons

The highest number of fatalities (18) occurred in the agriculture sector.However, this figure is a significant reduction in the number of agriculture related fatalities which reached 30 in 2014. File photograph: Getty Images

The highest number of fatalities (18) occurred in the agriculture sector.However, this figure is a significant reduction in the number of agriculture related fatalities which reached 30 in 2014. File photograph: Getty Images

 

Self-employed workers make up a disproportionate amount of fatalities in the work place according to an annual report by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA).

It shows that 21 of 56 fatalities in 2015 involved self-employed persons.

The total number of reported work-related fatalities has risen marginally, reflecting the trend of the last three years.

The report, published on Wednesday, outlines the results of over 10,000 workplace inspections carried out in 2015, primarily in the areas of manufacturing, construction and agriculture.

The highest number of fatalities (18) occurred in the agriculture sector.

Minister for Employment and Small Business Pat Breen said “while accidents are reducing in most sectors, we have to strengthen efforts to improve safety and prevent accidents in agriculture.”

However, this figure is a significant reduction in the number of agriculture related fatalities which reached 30 in 2014.

Chief executive of the HSA, Martin O’Halloran said there has also been an increased level of engagement from within the sector.

Almost 7,000 additional businesses signed up to BeSMART.ie, the HSA’s online safety management tool. E-learning also increased last year with over 13,000 new courses taken on hsalearning.ie.

Chairman of the HSA, Michael Horgan, said: “Over recent years our ability to complete some of our programmes has been restricted due to resource issues.”

However he insisted the authority is “now moving into a period where we can further improve our service to the working people of the country.”

Speaking about overall trends in the workplace, Mr O’Halloran said: “Projections from the ESRI show that we are moving towards employment levels of up to 2 million people. One of our key goals over the coming years will be to ensure that as the workforce increases, work-related accidents and illnesses decrease.”

The largest number of non-fatal injury reports to the HSA came from the health and social work sector (1,490) followed by manual handling-related injuries.

There were 16 successful prosecutions concluded for health and safety breaches and fines of € 541,750 were imposed.