Workers urged to be careful as three people killed on the job in Kilkenny last year
Three people were killed in workplace deaths in Kilkenny last year, the sixth worse in the country.
The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) have released figures which showed that there were 46 workplace deaths in the country last year, up 18% on 2018 when 39 people died on the job.
Chief Executive Officer of the HSA, Dr Sharon McGuinness, expressed concern that construction deaths went up from five in 2018 to 12 last year, with 75% of all fatal injuries taking place in the last six months.
With falls from heights the leading cause of all construction worker deaths last year, she highlighted the Authority’s concern that many of the fatalities involved small companies and self-employed tradespeople.
“The figures show that the number of construction deaths have increased to levels not seen since they last spiked in 2015, when falls from a height were also the biggest trigger in fatal injuries. ”
“This is a worrying trend and shows that without proper risk assessments and health and safety considerations, ultimately a worker may pay the price with their life,” Dr McGuinness warned.
Farming remained the most dangerous occupation, with 18 fatalities in 2019 representing a 15% increase on the year before.
Three-quarters of farm deaths last year involved people 60 and older.
“As farmers get older, they must adjust their work practices to make sure that they avoid injury,” she added.
“I would urge people to really take on board the dangers around farming whenever working with livestock, slurry or machinery.
“Farmers think it’ll never happen to them but sadly as we have seen, all it takes is a few seconds for a serious injury or death to occur,” she said.
The county with the highest number of workplace deaths last year was Wexford, where seven people died.
The lowest figures were recorded in counties Mayo, Donegal, Carlow, Tipperary, Waterford, Monaghan, and Louth, which all saw just a single fatality.