A commemorative event was held on Friday to mark Workers’ Memorial Day, featuring a ceremony at the Garden of Remembrance in Dublin to honour those lost and seriously injured through work-related incidents.
Workers’ Memorial Day is an international day of remembrance for those who have been killed or seriously injured in work-related incidents. In Ireland, 461 people were killed in work-related incidents over a ten-year period from 2013-2022. In the first quarter of 2023 (January 1st – March 31st) five people have been killed in work-related incidents.
In Q1 of 2023, there were 2,162 reported work-related injuries or illness, reflecting a 2.95% increase compared to 2,100 for the same period in 2022. The highest number of work-related injuries and illnesses, so far in 2023, were reported in counties Dublin (763), Cork (237) and Kildare (109). The sectors with the highest number of reported injuries and illnesses in 2022 included human health and social work, manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles and construction.
Mark Cullen, Interim Chief Executive Officer of the HSA said: “As Ireland’s labour force is aging, we must all look to our workplace practices, and ensure that health and safety is being prioritised across all workforce age groups. We’re urging employers and their workers this Workers’ Memorial Day to think about the task you’re asking others to carry out, or that you are about to undertake. Complete a risk assessment and make sure the right precautions are in place and nobody is putting themselves or others in danger.”
Of the 27 work-related fatalities recorded in 2022, 10 were employees, 13 were self-employed and three were non-workers. Farming continued to be one of the most dangerous sectors in which to work, with 12 fatalities recorded in 2022. The age groups 55-64 and 65 years and over represents 69% of all fatalities in 2022.
The Irish Congress of Trade Unions and the Health and Safety Authority, with support from Ibec, the Construction Industry Federation and the National Irish Safety Organisation, joined together to mark the day.
Later this year, the HSA will be launching the third edition of the Safety Representatives Resource Book. This updated version is specifically designed as a comprehensive resource manual for safety representatives, with the aim of being a valuable reference for employers, occupational health and safety advisors, employees, and the self-employed alike.
While the Health and Safety Authority has guidance and supports available across industry sectors in Ireland and the www.BeSMART.ie tool is freely available to employers and employees.