HSA carried out 10,000 workplace inspections last year

June 26, 2024

The Health and Safety Authority carried out almost 10,000 proactive workplace inspections last year, according to the authority’s annual report.

The HSA conducted 83 investigations into fatal accidents, of which 43 were deemed work-related.

Of the 43 work-related fatalities reported, the majority occurred in agriculture, which accounted for 20 deaths, and construction, which accounted for 11 deaths.

The 2023 figure of 43 is higher than the 2022 figure of 27 but the HSA said that there has been an overall decrease in the rate of work-related fatalities per 100,000 workers in Ireland over the past ten years.

The authority’s annual report shows that in 2023, 19 prosecutions were concluded, with 15 prosecuted on indictment and four prosecuted summarily, resulting in fines totalling €1,377,500.

Awareness campaigns launched last year included initiatives focussing on psychosocial health, including work-related stress and risk assessments for exposure to sensitive content.

“While much progress has been made in improving workplace safety in recent years, sadly we are seeing a persistent trend over many years now in both the agriculture and construction sectors, where workers continue to lose their lives, said Conor O’Brien, Chief Executive Officer of the HSA.

“We’re urging all employers, but particularly the self-employed, to make health and safety a top priority,” Mr O’Brien said.

Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail Emer Higgins expressed her condolences to the families, friends and communities of the 43 people who lost their lives in workplace accidents in 2023.

“Each life lost is one too many and I urge all employers and employees to prioritise health and safety and make full use of the HSA’s resources and tools,” Ms Higgins said.

Mark Cullen, Assistant Chief Executive of the Health and Safety Authority, said that workplace deaths are preventable.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Mr Cullen said half of the 43 people who died last year were self-employed which he said was a significant number, with the use of machinery and working at height being contributing factors.

He advised that the self-employed, such as farmers, take time out and put in appropriate safety control measures to prevent serious accidents and to seek additional help where required.

Mr Cullen also said constant inspections were taking place on work premises.

Article Source – HSA carried out 10,000 workplace inspections last year – RTE

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