Provisional data from the 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.
Summary of statistics reported by HSA are as follows:
Releasing provisional annual statistics for 2022, the Health and Safety Authority welcomed a decline of over 30% to 26 work-related fatalities in 2022 from 38 in 2021, the lowest figure recorded since the Authority was established. This decline comes against a 3.4% increase in employment figures (Q3 2022 versus Q3 2021).
While the confirmed number of work-related fatalities this year is the lowest recorded, it is important to point out that there are ongoing investigations that may see the reported/recorded number of fatalities increase.
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.
Mark Cullen added, “We are urging employers and their workers to think about the task you’re asking others to carry out, or that you are about to undertake. Complete a risk assessment and make sure the right precautions are in place and nobody is putting themselves or others in danger. As evident in our records for 2022, if working with heavy machinery or at a height, be particularly vigilant and take the appropriate care.”
In relation to the construction sector which saw a decline in fatalities in 2022, Mr Cullen said, “The construction sector saw a decline of 30% with 7 fatalities in 2022 compared to ten in 2021. We welcome this lower number, but are all too aware of this industry being one of the most dangerous. We would ask that smaller sites and contractors in particular continue to ensure that their own and their workers’ safety is a priority every day.”
The Health and Safety Authority has guidance and supports available across industry sectors in Ireland and the www.BeSMART.ie tool is freely available to employers and employees. Information across industry sectors is also available at www.HSA.ie.
*A breakdown of 2022 work-related fatalities is outlined below. This table is representative of data as of 3pm on 29th December 2022
|Economic sector||2022 Fatalities|
|A-Agriculture, forestry and fishing||Crop and animal production, hunting and related service activities||12|
|Forestry and logging||0|
|Fishing and aquaculture||0|
|B-Mining and quarrying||0|
|D-Electricity; gas, steam and air conditioning supply||0|
|E-Water supply, sewerage, waste management and remediation activities||1|
|G-Wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and personal goods||1|
|H-Transportation and storage||1|
|I-Accommodation and food service activities||1|
|J-Information and communication||0|
|K-Financial and insurance activities||0|
|L-Real estate activities||0|
|M-Professional, scientific and technical activities||0|
|N-Administrative and support service activities||0|
|O-Public administration and defence; compulsory social security||2|
|Q-Human health and social work activities||0|
|R-Arts, entertainment and recreation||0|
|S-Other service activities||0|
|Breakdown by Hazard/Trigger||2022 Fatalities|
|Falls including falls from height||10 (9 of which were falls from height)|
|Fatalities involving vehicles – either struck by vehicle or loss of control of vehicle||7|
|Fatalities where victim was struck by heavy object or heavy load||5|
|Fatalities involving loss of control of machinery||2|
|Trigger yet to be confirmed||1|
|Age Breakdown||2022 Fatalities|
|County Breakdown||2022 Fatalities|