News & Events

Health and Safety Authority publishes 2015 Annual Report and Statistics Summary

Bulk of inspections carried out in high risk agriculture and construction sectors Strong focus on occupational hygiene and workplace health

The Health and Safety Authority has today (Wednesday 29th June) published its Annual Report for 2015 and Statistic Summary for 2014 - 2015. There were 10,880 workplace inspections and investigations carried out in 2015, with over half of these targeting the agriculture (3,056) and construction (3,932) sectors. The manufacturing sector received the third highest number of inspections with 1,108 carried out.

Key enforcement statistics from the report include:

  • 11% of all inspections and investigations were due to a fatality, serious accident, complaint or dangerous occurrence
  • 13% of inspections and investigations were carried out under chemicals legislation
  • 5% were return inspections due to low compliance
  • 9% of all inspections and investigations resulted in formal enforcement action (489 improvement notices and 488 prohibition notices issued)

There were 16 successful prosecutions concluded for health and safety breaches and fines of €541,750 were imposed

There was also an extensive programme of support, advice and communications during 2015 with almost 7,000 additional businesses signing up to BeSMART.ie, the Authority’s online safety management tool. This means there are now over 30,000 businesses benefiting from the resource. E-learning also increased last year with over 13,000 new courses taken on hsalearning.ie.

In addition to the prevention programme there were major legislative developments in chemicals safety with the introduction of the new ‘Control of Major Accident Hazard Regulations’.  After a formal public consultation process, the new regulations were introduced with accompanying guidance and information for stakeholders.

The Authority continued to provide freely available guidance and information during 2015 with over a million visits to www.hsa.ie. There were over 25,000 inbound contacts to its Workplace Contact Unit and 23 new publications made available for free download.

The Irish National Accreditation Board (INAB), which has responsibility for the accreditation of laboratories, certification bodies and inspection bodies, completed its first full year as part of the Authority and delivered an accreditation programme with 294 assessments completed.

Across all sectors there was a strong focus on issues such as occupational hygiene (690 inspections), work-related vehicle safety (358 inspections) and slips, trips and falls (569 inspections) during 2015.

Minister for Employment and Small Business, Pat Breen TD, who has workplace safety and health as part of his brief, said:

“This report and the accompanying summary of workplace accident, illness and injury statistics illustrates the broad scope of the work of the Health and Safety Authority and its importance from both a social and economic perspective. We must protect workers while at the same time enabling enterprise to thrive. The Authority plays a vital role in promoting a safe and healthy work environment in all types of employment.  Looking at the accident, injury and illness statistics it’s clear that while accidents are reducing in most sectors, we have to strengthen efforts to improve safety and prevent accidents in agriculture.”

Continuing on the theme of safety in agriculture, Martin O’Halloran, Chief Executive of the Health and Safety Authority said:

“Agriculture related fatalities decreased from 30 in 2014 to 18 in 2015 and that is welcome. Another positive development has been the increased level of engagement from within the sector. I have always believed that the best people to implement change are farmers themselves, we saw evidence of that last year and we will be looking to build on it into the future.”

Speaking about overall trends in the workplace, Martin O’Halloran said:

“Projections from the ESRI show that we are moving towards employment levels of up to two million people. One of our key goals over the coming years will be to ensure that as the workforce increases, work-related accidents and illnesses decrease.”

Michael Horgan, Chairman of the HSA, said:

“Over recent years our ability to complete some of our programmes has been restricted due to resource issues. We have made efficiencies in how we carry out inspection field work and are now moving into a period where we can further improve our service to the working people of the country.”

Key injury, illness and fatality statistics include:

  • There were 56 work-related fatalities reported to the HSA in 2015, compared to 55 in 2014, 47 fatalities in 2013 and 48 in 2012.
  • Of the fatalities in 2015, 50 involved workers, giving a worker fatality rate of 2.5 workers per 100,000.
  • The highest number of fatalities (18) occurred in the agriculture sector.
  • Self-employed workers were once again over-represented in fatal work accidents: 21 of the fatalities in 2015 involved self-employed persons.
  • There were 7,775 non-fatal injuries reported to the HSA in 2015. Of these injuries, 7,443 (96%) involved workers, while the remaining 332 involved members of the public, including family members.
  • The largest number of non-fatal injury reports to the HSA came from the health and social work sector (1,490).
  • Manual handling-related injuries continue to account for about one-third of all non-fatal injuries reported to the HSA.     

Copies of both reports are available at www.hsa.ie

ENDS…

 

EDITORS NOTES

Enforcement statistics 2015

Number of workplace inspections and investigations 2005–2015

 

Year

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

Total

13,552

15,365

13,631

16,009

18,451

16,714

15,340

13,835

12,244

10,719

10,880

 

Total workplace inspections and investigations by economic sector and enforcement actions 2015

 

 

Economic   sector

Inspections   and investigations[1]

Agreed   prohibition

Improvement   notice / direction

Payment   in lieu

Prohibition   notice

Verbal   advice

Written   advice

Total

Agriculture, forestry and fishing

3,056

0

232

0

175

1,299

1,147

2,853

Mining and quarrying

233

0

17

0

31

64

109

221

Manufacturing

1,108

2

64

0

10

264

521

866

Electricity, gas, steam and air-conditioning supply

31

0

2

0

0

13

9

24

Water supply, sewerage, waste management and remediation activities

140

0

14

0

6

16

53

88

Construction

3,932

18

89

0

245

1,584

1,468

3,404

Wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles

800

0

28

3

14

145

395

585

Transportation and storage

515

11

9

2

2

71

178

271

Accommodation and food service activities

127

1

1

0

0

36

65

103

Information and communication

28

0

2

0

0

8

13

23

Financial and insurance activities

22

0

1

0

0

5

4

10

Real estate activities

30

1

3

0

0

6

11

21

Professional, scientific and technical activities

78

0

1

0

1

26

26

54

Administrative and support service activities

95

0

1

0

0

22

34

57

Public administration and defence, compulsory social security

164

0

6

0

1

53

61

121

Education

61

0

2

0

0

16

32

50

Human health and social work activities

246

0

9

0

2

43

146

200

Arts, entertainment and recreation

87

0

3

0

2

25

44

74

Other service activities

126

0

4

0

0

27

69

100

Others

1

0

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