06/08/2021

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Agriculture, forestry and fishing account for majority of workplace deaths in 2020

Agriculture, forestry and fishing account for majority of workplace deaths in 2020

Agriculture, forestry and fishing account for majority of workplace deaths in 2020

More than half of all people who died in work-related incidents in 2020 were self-employed, according to the Health and Safety Authority’s latest Annual Review of Workplace Injuries, Illnesses and Fatalities, published this Tuesday.

Of the 53 work-related fatalities in 2020, 28 or 52.8% were self-employed, 12 victims were employees (22.6%) and 13 were non-workers (24.5%).

The largest number of fatalities occurred in agriculture, forestry and fishing, where 18 of the victims were self-employed.

Seven victims in construction were self-employed, two victims in wholesale and retail trade were self-employed, while one self-employed victim worked in accommodation and food service activities.

The most common triggers associated with work-related fatalities in 2020 were loss of control of means of transport (16, 30.2%), fall from height (seven, 13.2%), fall of object from above onto victim (six, 11.3%) and victim entering dangerous area (six, 11.3%).

 The highest number of victims in work-related fatalities in 2020 were aged over 65 (18 victims). The proportion of involving older victims aged 65 years or more has increased from 7.4% in 1990 (the first full year for which the Authority holds data), to 34% in 2020.

There has been a significant increase in the number of people contacting the Health and Safety Authority and availing of supports.

According to the Health and Safety Authority’s Annual Report, also published today, the HSA’s Workplace Contact Unit handled 28,684 contacts in 2020, 39% more than in 2019. Of the 28,684 contacts received, over a third or 9,982 were requests for information in relation to Covid-19.

The numbers registering to use the HSA’s free safety statement and risk assessment tool, BeSMART.ie, increased by 15% in 2020 – with 78,162 people registered in 2020, compared with 66,296 registered in 2019. There were 11,868 new registrants in 2020 – the highest on record, compared with 9,967 new registrants in 2019.

The online farm risk assessment tool, farmsafely.com, also recorded an increase, with 13,227 registered users in 2020, compared to 11,502 registered users in 2019.

A total of 52,644 online health and safety courses, HSALearning.ie, were taken in 2020 - the highest on record, and 60% more than the number of courses taken in 2019.

The most popular courses taken in 2020 included An Introduction to Tractor Safety, Chemical Safety in the Workplace and Slips, Trips and Falls in the Workplace.

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