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News & Events

Health and Safety Authority publishes Annual Report and Statistics Summary for 2014

The Health and Safety Authority has today (Tuesday 30 June) published its 2014 Annual Report and a Summary of Injury, Illness and Fatality Statistics 2013 - 2014.

The Annual Report gives details of key achievements, programmes and enforcement statistics for 2014. Figures from the report show that there were 10,719 inspections and investigations carried out across all sectors last year. Written advice was given in 38% of cases and enforcement action was required in 9%.

Some of the key sectors targeted were; construction, 2,758 inspections; agriculture, 2,590 inspections and 1,005 inspections under chemicals legislation. There were 32 prosecutions concluded for serious safety and health breaches, with fines totalling €293,900 imposed.

Other key themes in 2014 were; providing resources to the SME sector, raising awareness of chemical safety, working with the education sector and improving safety on farms.

More than 5,000 new businesses registered with the Authority’s online safety tool for small business, BeSMART.ie, at the end of 2014 there were in excess of 23,000 businesses using the resource.

Working with the National Poisons Information Centre and supported by the European Commission, the Authority led an international awareness campaign on the dangers that liquid detergent capsules pose to children.

There was further collaboration with the education sector during 2014. A ‘Choose Safety’ programme was completed by over 21,000 students and an e-learning portal, hsalearning.ie, was launched immediately attracting over 4,500 learners.

In tandem with a farm safety inspection campaign, the Authority worked closely with state agencies and farming representative bodies to increase awareness and promote knowledge transfer through discussion groups.

The Statistics Summary, which has been produced in conjunction with the Economic and Social Research Institute, provides a study on trends in occupational injuries, illnesses and fatalities for 2013 - 2014.

Some of the key points of the Statistics Summary are;

  • There were 56 fatal workplace accidents reported in 2014, compared to 47 in 2013.
  • The overall worker fatality rate increased to 2.5 per 100,000 in 2014, from 2.1 per 100,000 in 2013.
  • Twenty-six of the fatalities in 2014 involved self-employed persons.
  • There were 7,431 non-fatal injuries reported in 2014, compared to 6,598 in 2013,
  • The reported non-fatal injury rate increased to 3.7 per 1,000 workers in 2014 from 3.4 per 1,000 workers in 2013.
  • The main cause of non-fatal injuries was manual handling (33%).
  • The sectors that reported the highest number of non-fatal injuries were; health and social work (20%), manufacturing (17%).

Minister for Business and Employment, Ged Nash TD, said that the increase in accident rates in 2014 is a cause for concern: “The increased fatality rate last year is largely due to the unfortunate rise in the number of people killed on farms which stood at 30. Huge effort has been made to try to reverse the situation in relation to farming and awareness of the risks has never been higher. It is time now to convert that awareness into action, the carnage and tragedy that we see on our farms every year must stop.

The Minister added, “It is our goal to increase employment opportunities, but it concerns me that as the number of people at work increases the rate of non-fatal accidents has also risen. We must ensure that economic recovery is not at the expense of safety and health standards. New workers and people returning to the labour market must be protected.”

Martin O’Halloran, CEO of the Health and Safety Authority confirmed that there will be a focus on those newly joining the workforce over the next few years: “We did notice an increase in construction activity last year and we also saw a slight increase in reported injuries. Overall the rate of compliance in the sector remains high but our concern is for the future. Studies show that inexperienced workers, in any sector, are four times more likely to be injured than their more experienced colleagues. There are a number of strategies that can be employed to prevent this such as proper supervision, training and risk-management. Employers must be vigilant when it comes to ensuring that newly hired workers are protected from injury. We will continue to raise awareness through engagement and collaboration with employer and employees groups and other agencies.”

Michael Horgan, Chairman of the Authority said: “We have worked on improving our service delivery and maximising impact by using technology to provide online resources such as BeSMART.ie and hsalearning.ie. These platforms are free, easy-to-use and available at all times. There is also a high volume of guidance and information available to employees and employers through our website and social media channels. One of our stated goals is to provide value for money for the taxpayer and these programmes have been delivered with that in mind.”

Copies of both reports can be downloaded from www.hsa.ie/eng/Publications_and_Forms/Publications/Corporate/

ENDS

For further information please contact:

Mark Ryan, Health and Safety Authority (01) 614 7068 / 086 8036141 Email: mark_ryan@hsa.ie

Editors Notes

Number of inspections in economic sectors and for particular topics 2014

Inspections under OSH Legislation

Target

Achieved

Agriculture (2,590), forestry (100) and fishing (68)

3,000

2,758

Construction

2,500

2,758

Manufacturing

700

554

Wholesale and retail

550

673

Healthcare

300

242

Public administration

200

149

Mines and quarries

150

152

Transport and storage (including ADR inspections)

520

577

The inspections above also included a specific focus on the following topics where appropriate:

Diving (50)

Docks (50)

BeSMART awareness (409)

Slips, trips and falls (1,115)

  

Reactive inspections in other sectors (follow up inspections due to poor compliance or in response to complaints or accidents)

200

506

Total inspections under OSH legislation

9,120

8,369

Inspections under Chemicals legislation

Occupational hygiene (including REACH and CLP)

1,000

826

COMAH

200

179

Total inspections under Chemicals legislation

1,200

1,005

Investigations

  

Investigations of fatalities, serious accidents, dangerous occurrences and complaints

1,200

1,345

Total Inspections and investigations

 

10,719

Desk based assessments (not included in 10,719 inspections and investigations)

 

161

Number of inspections and investigations by economic sector and enforcement actions 2014

Economic Sector

Inspections and investigations[1]

Agreed prohibition

Improvement notice / direction

Payment in lieu

Prohibition notice

Verbal advice

Written advice

Total enforcement actions and advices given

Agriculture, forestry and fishing

2,851

0

209

1

123

1316

956

2,605

Mining and quarrying

175

0

10

0

2

64

72

148

Manufacturing

1,050

0

68

4

18

325

516

931

Electricity, gas, steam and air-conditioning supply

55

0

0

0

1

26

13

40

Water supply, sewerage, waste management and remediation activities

188

0

17

2

7

40

80

146

Construction

3,328

7

90

0

175

1,506

1,249

3,027

Wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles

1,093

0

55

10

25

248

508

846

Transportation and storage

694

0

18

44

8

87

149

306

Accommodation and food service activities

171

0

8

0

1

58

92

159

Information and communication

33

0

3

0

0

14

14

31

Financial and insurance activities

19

0

0

0

0

2

9

11

Real estate activities

31

0

1

0

2

5

10

18

Professional, scientific and technical activities

105

0

1

0

0

42

45

88

Administrative and support service activities

108

0

3

1

3

30

47

84

Public administration and defence, compulsory social security

222

0

7

0

0

72

66

145

Education

53

0

0

0

3

9

33

45

Human health and social work activities

324

0

1

0

1

28

159

240

Arts, entertainment and recreation

78

0

1

0

1

28

39

69

Other service activities

138

0

6

0

3

31

64

104

Others

3

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

Total

10,719

7

511

62

373

3,969

4,121

9,043


[1]These figures include inspections and investigations carried out in the sector under occupational safety and health and chemicals legislation