At the recent launch of the HSA three year strategy, the Minister for Labour Affairs, Dara Calleary stated: ‘Last year (2009) saw the lowest level of workplace deaths on record … Huge improvements have undoubtedly been made and the challenge now is not just to maintain those gains, but to build on them.’
That prompted me to look up statistics on fatal accidents in the workplace here. The following tables from the HSA website show the number of fatal accidents at work for the years 2002 – 2009. The statistics are shown in two tables as the classification system changed after 2007.
Two areas of economic activity, one, construction and two, agriculture, hunting and forestry accounted for a significant proportion of workplace fatalities. These two areas accounted for between 43% and 63% annually. We are almost a quarter ways through 2010 and thankfully there has been no contruction related death to date.
Whilst a reduction in the number of fatalities for whatever reason has to be widely welcomed, to some extent though we probably have the recession and the resultant decline in constuction activity, to thank for this improvement.
A poignant reminder – Last week, the total number of fatalities for 2010 to date, was 10. Today that figure is 11. Today yet another family is in mourning.
We all need to actively play our part to promote and maintain health and safety in the workplace.