A rise in work-related deaths, with 43 people dying last year



According to new data from the Health and Safety Authority (HSA), 43 persons died as a result of workplace accidents in 2023.

This compared to a total of 28 deaths in 2022.

Of the 43 workers that died in 2023, 53% were self-employed, and 51% were over 55.

Farming was responsible for 16 fatalities, while building claimed 11 lives.

Both sectors were responsible for more than two-thirds of all fatalities in 2023.

Working with automobiles and falling from heights were the major causes of workplace deaths last year.

39 of the 43 fatalities in 2023 were men, while four were women.

According to the HSA, the fatality rate in Ireland has decreased over the last ten years, from 2.8 per 100,000 workers in 2014 to 1.6 in 2023.

"As we reflect on the last year and the 43 people who lost their lives in work-related incidents, we first and foremost think of their families and friends who have tragically lost a loved one in 2023," Mark Cullen, the assistant chief executive of the HSA, said

 "Where there is a known risk, such as working with vehicles and machinery or working at height, duty holders must take preventative actions to ensure they themselves or workers are safe," he added.

"We are urging self-employed individuals, companies, and duty holders to prioritise workplace health and safety in 2024 to avoid fatalities. "Every workplace fatality is preventable," he stressed.

The HSA recently announced its 2024 Programme of Work, which will include a variety of inspections and targeted activities throughout the year, notably in high-risk sectors such as agriculture and construction.

The HSA stated that it will also address shifting workforce demographics, as well as technological and environmental consequences on Irish workers.

"We have and will continue to develop supports and resources to address the evolving nature of the work environment, including impacts related to psychosocial hazards, digitalisation, sustainability, and changing workforce demographics," stated Conor O'Brien, the chief executive officer of the HSE.

Source: RTE
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