Workplace deaths fall to an all-time low

Workplace deaths fall to an all-time low
Construction was the second-highest sector for workplace deaths after farming. Five people were killed on sites last year.

Four people died in workplace-related accidents in Cork last year, the second-highest level in the country.

Figures released by the Health and Safety Authority show that 37 people were killed in accidents in Ireland last year, a decline of 23% on 2017 and the lowest figure since the establishment of the Authority in 1989. 

The farming sector, which has consistently been the most dangerous sector in which to work, featured 15 work-related deaths last year compared to 25 in 2017, a decline of 40%. The fatal accident rate of 1.6 deaths per 100,000 workers is also now at an all-time low.

Dr Sharon McGuinness, Chief Executive Officer of the HSA said the fatality rate of 1.6 deaths per 100,000 workers is particularly significant given it was as high as 6.4 per 100,000 workers in the early 1990s.

"Due to the efforts of employers, employees and key stakeholders, there has been a huge improvement in health and safety standards since then. However, with 37 people losing their lives in work-related activity in 2018 there is clearly still more to be done”.

“Although farming has also seen a very strong improvement in 2018, 15 fatalities, which represents 41% of total fatalities, is still far too many for a sector that employs just 6% of the workforce. The next highest sector is construction with five deaths in 2018 (14% of the total) so both sectors will remain a key priority for us in 2019." 

Dublin saw five fatalities last year while Cork, Galway and Mayo each recorded four deaths.

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