HSA hails improvements in work safety

 

Up to 1,000 lives have been saved since the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) was established 25 years ago, a conference was told yesterday.

Speaking at the HSA-National Irish Safety Organisation conference in Co Westmeath, HSA chief executive Martin O’Halloran said safety, health and welfare in Irish workplaces has improved hugely.

Addressing the conference, President Michael D Higgins noted the attitudinal changes which had occurred since the introduction of the Health and Welfare at Work Act in 1989.

“Today the majority of Irish workers have a vastly increased knowledge of the dangers and hazards that exist in their areas of work,” he said. He said workers also now understand the health implications of “the once misunderstood or dismissed areas of stress, bullying or lack of adequate support which can cause so much distress to Irish workers.”

Mr Higgins said farming deaths are tragic not just for those directly affected, but also for the entire rural community.While fatalities grabbed the headlines, thousands more people suffer injuries in work-place accidents, he said.