Construction accidents drop despite increase in activity

Construction accidents drop despite increase in activity

Construction accidents are declining despite a huge increase in activity, it has emerged.

Latest accident statistics from the Health and Safety Authority show that there were 164 non-fatal incidents in construction over the first six months of this year.

Sadly, there were two construction-related deaths.

Over the same period last year, there were three fatalities and 278 non-fatal accidents recorded by the HSA.

Agriculture, forestry and fishing accounted for the greatest number of fatalities, with 12 recorded, over the first six months. There were 37 non-fatal incidences.

Transport and storage, with five fatal incidents, had the second-highest number of deaths. There were 302 non-fatal incidents.

The Construction Industry Federation believes the decline in construction accidents is due to building companies embedding safety in thousands of sites around the country.

CIF director of safety and training, Dermot Carey, said the construction industry was striving to achieve the lowest recorded work fatalities this year.

“Every incident and fatality is poured over by construction companies to elicit learnings that are shared across the industry to improve safety,” he said.

Construction companies would be constantly reminding workers to think about safety and act safely.

“Signs, warnings, toolbox talks, even accident re-enactments with actors are used to constantly remind workers of the importance of safety,” he said.

The CIF will launch Construction Safety Week later in the autumn and all 47,000 construction companies are invited to take part.

Rory O'Connor, better known as Rory's Stories, who is CIF's safety ambassador, has been doing lots of “Toolbox Talks” about safety and mental health at sites throughout the country.

“I believe it's really important that they feel they can talk about mental health on site. I do believe mental health problems can lead to physical accidents on-site by people not being in the right frame of mind,” he said.

“When people think of safety on construction sites or in the construction industry, they think of hard hats, high-vis jackets, glasses and gloves but no one actually thinks about the person's own mental health, which is obviously hidden to everyone. The key message we want to spread is of positive mental health and to let construction workers know it is OK not to feel OK.”

The CIF's Safety Week 2019 takes place from October 21 to 25 and coincides with European Safety week.

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