Provisional data from the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) shows that 26 people lost their lives in work-related incidents in 2022 compared to 38 in 2021, representing the lowest figure recorded since the Authority was established over thirty years ago.
Releasing provisional annual statistics for 2022 on Friday, 30th December, the HSA welcomed a decline of over 30% to work-related fatalities in 2022, coming against a 3.4% increase in employment figures (Q3 2022 versus Q3 2021). It is important however to point out that there are ongoing investigations that may see the reported/recorded number of fatalities increase.
The first work-related fatality of 2023 has already occurred when a man in his 20s died on an agricultural premises near Gort, Co. Galway on Monday, 2nd January. The young man was named as Colie Kearney and investigations are ongoing.
Commenting on the HSA’s provisional data on fatalities in Irish workplaces, Mark Cullen, Interim Chief Executive at the Health and Safety Authority said, “It is positive to see such a substantial decline in work-related fatalities in 2022. However, our view is that every work-related death is preventable and vigilance around health and safety in Irish workplaces is still imperative. Christmas this year for the families and friends of all those killed in workplace incidents will have been a difficult one and our thoughts are with them”.
The HSA reports show that falling from height (9 fatalities) and loss of control of a vehicle or its attachments (7 fatalities) were the leading causes of work-related fatalities in 2022.
Mark Cullen commented “We see a large number of fatalities relating to working at height and vehicle handling. We also know from the data that the age groups 55 and over represents 69% of all fatalities in 2022, with these age groups representing 19% of employees in Ireland. As Ireland’s labour force is aging, we must all look to our work place practices, and ensure that health and safety is being prioritised across all workforce age groups.”
Farming continues to be one of the most dangerous sectors in which to work, and sees an increase with 12 fatalities recorded in 2022 compared to 10 in 2021.
In relation to the construction sector, which saw a decline in fatalities in 2022, 7 fatalities were recorded in 2022 compared to 10 in 2021.
Summary of statistics reported by HSA are as follow: fatal incidents happened to victims from all age groups, the highest number involved people between 55-64 years with 10 fatalities, the age groups 55-64 and 65 years and over represents 69% of all fatalities in 2022, with these age groups representing 19% of employees in Ireland (CSO figures up to end of Q3 2022), falling from height (9 fatalities) and loss of control of a vehicle or its attachments (7 fatalities) were the leading causes of work-related fatalities in 2022, farming saw 12 fatalities recorded in 2022 compared to 10 in 2021, with it remaining the sector with the highest number of fatalities.
Of the 26 fatalities in 2022, 10 were employees, 13 were self-employed and 3 were non-workers. And of the 26 fatalities in 2022, 25 were male and 1 was female. The transport and storage sector recorded a decline of 83% with one fatality in 2022, compared to six in 2021 and manufacturing recorded no fatalities.