Thursday, 7 February 2008

Questions (50, 51)

Joan Burton

Question:

48 Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment his views on the 34% increase in the number of deaths recorded in workplace accidents during 2007; his proposals to ensure a reduction in the number of workplace accidents and deaths; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4046/08]

View answer

Joan Burton

Question:

52 Deputy Joan Burton asked the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment his views on the significant increase in the number of deaths recorded in workplace accidents in the construction sector during 2007; his proposals to ensure a reduction in the number of construction accidents and deaths; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4047/08]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment)

I propose to take Questions Nos. 48 and 52 together.

The number of deaths recorded in workplace accidents during 2007 was 67 compared to 51 fatalities in 2006. I would like to record my sympathy to the relatives and friends of those who were bereaved.

Unfortunately, the same sectors keep surfacing as having the most accidents and the same causes are continuously attributed to fatalities. Construction, fishing and agriculture topped the list in 2007.

There were 18 deaths in the construction sector in 2007 compared to 13 in 2006. There were over 7,000 non-fatal work injuries overall reported to the Authority in 2007. The most common non-fatal accident triggers for all sectors were handling, lifting and carrying (34%), and slips, trips and falls (18%). These have been the two most common accident triggers every year since 2000.

I am concerned at the increase in fatalities in the construction sector. The Health and Safety Authority will continue to focus its inspection and awareness campaigns in these and other high-risk sectors and will continue to work with employer and employee organisations to make workplace safety, health and welfare an integral part of doing business in every workplace.

The Authority's programme of work for 2008 sets out its key priorities and activities and targets a 10% increase in the number of workplace inspections this year to 17,500. In relation to the construction sector the Authority will carry out 7,000 construction site inspections in 2008. Also, the Authority will continue to implement the 2006 Construction Regulations and Safe System of Work Plan (SSWP).

In addition to this in 2008 the Authority will also develop, consult on and publish codes of practice on construction anchors, pre-cast concrete and roofwork.