HSA figures show 64 workplace deaths in 2001


Figures released by the Health and Safety Authority today show that 64 people were killed in work-related accidents last year.

Although this was slightly lower than the 70 deaths in 2000, the HSA said it would continue to "utilise every means at its disposal" to reduce death, particularly in the agriculture industry.

A total of 34 people were killed in farm accidents in 2001, including seven children. This figure comprises nearly 40 per cent of all workplace fatalities, and is up from 16 deaths the previous year.

There were 18 deaths in the construction industry in 2001, eight of which were due to falls from heights. Four children were killed in construction-related incidents, including two who died while playing on building sites.

Quarrying is also regarded as a high-risk activity, with five deaths last year. This was described as "an alarming rise" considering the numbers employed in the sector. A similar number of transport workers died in the same period.

Two gardaí also died, including the officer shot accidentally by his own colleagues in Abbeyleix, Co Laois last December.

The number of deaths in the fishing industry were down from seven in 2000 to two last year, while fatalities in manufacturing dropped from nine to three in the same period.

The HSA annual report also highlighted the growing incidence of workplace violence, which is a daily feature of the life of many healthcare workers.

15,000 inspections were undertaken by HSA staff in an effort to reduce accidents. These resulted in 85 prosecutions and 73 convictions, including 18 people who received criminal convictions.