7th January 2014
By Bryan T. Smyth
More than a quarter of all workplace fatalities in the State last year occurred in Cork according to the Health and Safety Authority report for 2013 (12 of a total 46).
Three times as many deaths from workplace accidents took place in Cork (12) than any other county (Dublin 4, Waterford 4).
Nearly half the total of workplace fatalities in the state last year were related to farming (12) or construction (11).
In the light of the report, Socialist Party Councillor Mick Barry this morning condemned cuts in Health and Safety Authority budgets (down 25% on 2008) which will bring the number of inspectors down from 197 to 155.
Health and Safety Authority inspections fell from 16,000 in 2011 to 13,700 in 2012.
Cllr Barry said: “Normally you would expect workplace fatalities to fall sharply in a recession as economic activity declines but the opposite has happened in the last 5 years with some employers cutting costs on health and safety. All cutbacks to Health and Safety Authority budgets should be reversed in the light of these results.”
Workplace fatalities were 43 in 2009 compared to 54 in 2011, 47 in 2012 and 46 last year.
Cllr Barry also said it should be borne in mind that only 1% of work-related deaths were caused by immediate fatalities and that many more workers lose their lives in less dramatic ways with work as a major contributing factor.