Incidents involving vehicles at work accounted for 20 fatalities in 2013, figures released by the Health and Safety Authority confirm.
The number of fatalities in the Transportation and Storage sector increased from one in 2012 to four in 2013.
The Agriculture sector recorded the most number of deaths (16) followed by the Construction sector (11), where the main causes were the movement of vehicles on site and falls from height.
CEO Martin O’Halloran stated that this was a cause for concern. “We welcome any news that the construction sector is recovering, but I am concerned at the increased fatality rates. The industry did previously have a poor safety record and, to its credit, industry stakeholders got together and worked on improving standards. We cannot allow those gains to be eroded, especially in the context of economic recovery and the anticipated increase in construction activity.”
He added: “The overall trend in fatalities has been decreasing for the last 10 years. However, the fact is that each year people lose their lives because of a work-related accident. This is a tragedy for the victims, their families, friends and the wider community. Generally our investigations show that these tragedies could have been prevented. The likelihood of an accident occurring can be greatly reduced by ensuring that safety is at the core of all work activity, anything less is an invitation to disaster.”