The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) – recently published some statistics on Health and Safety in workplaces in Ireland .
Deaths at Work:
There were 46 work-related fatalities reported to the HSA in 2016 (compared to 56 in 2015.) Two of the 46 deaths were members of the public.
The Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing sector had the largest number of fatalities – with 24 worker deaths in 2016
There were 9 worker fatalities in the construction sector during 2016 .
Self employed workers seem to be more at risk of death at work – with 23 in 2016 (just over half of all fatalities) . Of these 18 were farmers, 3 worked in the Construction sector, with the remaining 2 being workers from the Fishing sector and the Forestry sector.
Note – The fatality statistics exclude deaths resulting from long-term work-related illnesses, such as cancer.
Injuries at Work :
There were 7957 non-fatal injuries reported to the HSA in 2016 that involved workers.
There was a small increase from the 7,775 in 2015.
The largest number of non-fatal injury reports to the HSA came from the Health and Social Work sector (19%) . Only 13% of employees work in this sector – so the rate of injury is high in this sector – but this could be due to better employer reporting systems rather than a higher underlying injury rate.
The Manufacturing sector accounted for 17.3 % of non-fatal accidents reported and the Wholesale and Retail sector had 13.9% of all injuries at work.
Surpisingly – areas such as Mining , Quarrying had just 0.7% of injuries at work (55 total )
In terms of injuries per 1000 workers – which is a more meaningful measure – the Agriculture Forestry and Fishing sector was the worst – with 41 injuries per 1000 workers in 2015. This compares to an average of 19 per thousand across all sectors.
The Industry sector had the second highest rate of injury – with 31 per 1000 followed by Accommodation and Food Service with 31 per 1000.
The lowest rate of injury was in the ICT sector with just 6 per 1000 in 2015.
Manual handling-related injuries continue to account for about one-third of all non-fatal injuries reported to the HSA (33%)
Work Related Illness
The three sectors with the highest illness rates in 2015 (0+ days lost) were:
Health and Social Work (41 per 1,000 workers),
Accommodation and Food Services (33 per 1,000)
Transport and Storage (28 per 1,000)
Comparison to Other EU countries
Overall in Ireland in 2014 the rate of worker injuries resulting in loss of 4 or more days of work was 1072 per 10,000 workers.
This is lower than the EU28 average of 1642 but higher than the UK figure of 1015.
Portugal had the highest rate – with 3582 per 10,000 workers.