The fatal accidents at work statistics for 2010 in Ireland make for grim reading. Forty-eight people lost their lives last year in workplace accidents, an increase from forty-three on the previous year. This means that almost every week another Irish family has to deal with the awful reality of losing a loved one.
What percentage of these accidents could just have been avoided?
We also have to put these numbers in the context of a huge decline in construction activity, an area that is always high risk as regards accidents. The decrease in deaths from 2008 (57 deaths) to 2010 (48 deaths) can probably be largely attributed to the corresponding decline in construction related deaths: 2008 (15 deaths), 2006 (9 deaths).
Over the past three years, agriculture has been the area with the highest number of fatalities. Twenty-two people died in this area alone last year. The causes of these accidents need to be addressed.
I had a conversation recently with a small employer who lost an employee in a workplace accident. The effect it had on that man is staggering. And he isn’t even family.
We all need to play our part in ensuring that our workplaces are safe.
Here is a link to the Health and Safety Authority website.