News & Events

Minister Bruton marks World Day for Safety and Health at Work

27th April 2012

Marking tomorrow’s (Saturday 28th April) World Day for Safety and Health at Work, Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton, T.D., today urged all employers and employees alike to take the opportunity of this day to reflect on how workplaces could be made safer to avoid injuries and fatalities:

“Every workplace fatality is a personal tragedy, a family tragedy and a workplace tragedy that deeply affects many people, and today we remember the enormous pain and suffering that occur as a result. There is an obligation on everybody - Government, employers and employees alike - to play their part in helping to reduce the numbers of these terrible tragedies. Today I urge all involved to reflect on their workplaces, and redouble their efforts to help reduce the numbers of these terrible tragedies.”

Martin O’Halloran, Chief Executive of the Health and Safety Authority, said that general awareness levels of workplace risks and dangers have increased over the last number of years but awareness is only part of the overall picture. “When compared with other EU member states Irish workers are well informed of health and safety risks and have the confidence to work with employers to minimise those risks, so attitudes are positive. Our goal is to convert attitudes into behaviours and to make safe work practice second nature to all workers whether they’re involved in farming, manufacturing, retail or any other sector.”

So far this year, 14 people have lost their lives due to work activity and the number of workplace deaths reported has increased year on year since 2009.  “Each year since 2009 there has been an increase in the numbers being killed as a result of work activity, largely due to the high fatality rates in agriculture and fishing. We are focussing much of our resources on these high risk sectors but I would caution against complacency in any workplace.”

Commenting on the economic challenges facing all businesses O’Halloran added, “We understand that resources are scarce and it may be tempting for some to cut back on workplace safety. However, a safe and healthy workplace can enhance business productivity and save costs. We have worked hard to reduce the regulatory burden and simplify the management of workplace safety and health, particularly for those in the small business sector. It’s in every employer’s interest to make sure their workplace is a safe one.”

April 28th is also associated with the world's trade union movement commemoration of the victims of occupational accidents and diseases.

ENDS.

For further information please contact Gavin Lonergan, Head of Communications, Health and Safety Authority, (087) 0523006.

Editors Notes

See http://www.ilo.org/safework/events/safeday/lang--en/index.htm for full details of World Day for Safety and Health at Work.

Reported Workplace Deaths 2012 (as of Friday 27th April) Source: Health and Safety Authority

 

Date

Occupation

Work Environment

County

Age

Nationality

7th Jan

Farmer

Farm

Mayo

67

Irish

10th March

Agricultural Contractor

Farm

Kerry

59

Irish

28th March

Farmer

Farm

Longford

72

Irish

13th April

Farmer

Farm

Cork

39

Irish

15th Jan

Fisherman

Sea – aboard fishing vessel

Cork

52

Irish

15th Jan

Fisherman

Sea – aboard fishing vessel

Cork

21

Irish

15th Jan

Fisherman

Sea – aboard fishing vessel

Cork

23

Egyptian

15th Jan

Fisherman

Sea – aboard fishing vessel

Cork

26

Egyptian

15th Jan

Fisherman

Sea – aboard fishing vessel

Cork

35

Egyptian

8th March

Carpenter

Domestic dwelling

Cork

29

Irish

13th March

Construction worker

Construction site

Donegal

41

Irish

23rd Feb

Member of public

Abandoned site

Roscommon

2

Irish

9th Feb

Lorry driver

Domestic dwelling

Tipperary

50

Irish

6th March

Mechanic

Workshop

Clare

54

Irish

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