Ireland’s Health and Safety Authority Reports Lowest Number of Workplace Fatalities in Over 30 Years

Ireland’s Health and Safety Authority Reports Lowest Number of Workplace Fatalities in Over 30 Years

In 2021, workplace incidents led to the death of 38 workers.

For the first time in over 30 years, Ireland’s Health and Safety Authority (HSA) reported the lowest number of workplace fatalities, according to a new review.

In the year 2021, according to a press release, 38 workers lost their lives from work-related incidents, down from 54 the year prior. This is the lowest number of worker fatalities since 1989, when HSA was established.

More than half of these fatalities were caused by two types of incidents: “loss of control of a vehicle or its attachments (11) and falling from a height (11),” HSA said.

“I welcome the fact that 38 fatalities in 2021 is the lowest number on record, however, our view is that all of these fatalities are foreseeable and preventable. Much progress has been made but there is still a lot of work to be done,” said Dr Sharon McGuinness, Chief Executive Officer of the HSA in the press release. “There have been improvements, but unfortunately the farming and construction sectors are still over-represented in our fatality figures accounting for half of all work-related fatalities between them. Both sectors will continue to be key priorities for us.”

Although fatalities were down, non-fatal incidents increased by eight percent over one year. In 2021, 8,279 non-fatal injuries and illnesses were reported. Most illnesses were caused by “bone, joint or muscle problems.” The second causes were mental health-related and included “stress, depression or anxiety,” the news release said.

In the second quarter of 2021, about 2,349,100 people were employed in Ireland, per the Central Statistics Office. In October 2021, there were about 261,908,000 people working in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

To download and read the review, visit HSA’s Annual Review of Workplace Injuries, Illnesses and Fatalities 2020-2021.

About the Author

Alex Saurman is the Content Editor for Occupational Health & Safety.

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