In December 2020, the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) published its Annual Review of Workplace Injury, Illness and Fatality Statistics for 2018-2019. This report details the causes and characteristics of injuries, illnesses and fatalities in the workplace.
Key points from this report include
- 47 fatal work-related accidents were reported to the HSA in 2019. The total number of fatalities is up from 39 in 2018, but is comparable to the five-year average for 2015-2019 of 47.6 fatal accidents.
- Construction is the second highest sector for fatal accidents, after agriculture.
- The most common cause of an accident leading to a fatal injury was falling from height.
- All but two of the 47 victims of fatal accidents were male.
- Work-related non-fatal injuries also increased in 2019, with 9,335 reported to the HSA. Manual handling leading to personal injury was the most common cause of workplace accident in 2019, representing almost a third of all non-fatal accidents reported to the Authority. Slips or falls were the second most common, at 24%.
- Manual handling and falls were also the two most prevalent causes of non-fatal accidents in each of the five years from 2015 to 2019, with back injuries being reported in 20% of worker accidents.
The HSA’s report emphasises the importance of ensuring that risk assessments are implemented, and reviewed as necessary to ensure employee safety. Effective supervision is seen as a significant factor in reducing incidents. The full report is available here.