08 Jan HSA Statistics for 2023
HSA Reports Significant Increase in Workplace Fatalities in 2023
The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) has reported that 43 people lost their lives in work-related incidents in 2023. The statistics revealed a continued high level of fatalities in farming (16 fatalities) and construction (11 fatalities) with both sectors accounting for over two thirds of all fatalities in 2023. The work-related fatalities in these sectors relate to high-risk work including working with vehicles and falls from height.
Fifty-three per cent of workers who died in 2023 were self-employed and 51% were workers aged over 55.
Key statistics reported by the HSA:
- In the last ten years (2014-2023), the HSA records show an overall decrease in the rate of fatalities per 100,000 workers in Ireland from the rate of 2.8 in 2014 to 1.6 in 2023.
- Last year, the 55+ age group incurred the highest number of fatalities with 22 fatalities in 2023 compared to 10 in 2022.
- Agriculture, forestry and fishing accounted for 20 fatalities with farming accounting for 16 of these fatalities in 2023.
- The construction sector accounted for the second highest fatalities reported in 2023 with 11 reported work-related fatalities.
- The leading causes of work-related fatalities in 2023 were working with vehicles (13 fatalities) and falling from height (11 fatalities).
- Of the 43 fatalities in 2023, 39 were male and 4 were female.
- Co. Cork accounted for the highest records of fatalities in 2023 (7 fatalities), followed by Co. Dublin (5 fatalities) and Co. Kerry (5 fatalities).
Mark Cullen, Assistant Chief Executive, HSA, commenting on the new statistics, said, “As we reflect on the last year and the 43 people who lost their lives in work-related incidents, we first and foremost think of their families and friends who have tragically lost a loved one in 2023.
“Although we welcome the decrease in work-related fatalities rates in the last ten years from the rate of 2.8 in 2014 to 1.6 in 2023, we still see a continued high level of fatalities in certain sectors. Farming, a high-risk sector, continues to account for the highest number of fatalities (37%) with over half of victims aged 65 and over. We know many farmers are self-employed and often work alone. Therefore, there is a clear need for them to consider the work they plan on carrying out themselves, and where they may need assistance from qualified and trained workers, ensuring the appropriate risk assessments are completed in advance of the work being carried out and that the appropriate preventative measures are in place to ensure those carrying out the work can do so safely.”
The HSA records also showed incident triggers such as being struck by vehicles/vehicle collisions (13 fatalities) and falls from height (11 fatalities) continue to be the leading causes of work-related fatalities in Ireland.
Mark Cullen, continued “Where there is a known risk, such as working with vehicles and machinery or working at height, duty holders must take preventative actions to ensure they themselves or workers are safe. We are urging the self-employed, employers and duty holders to prioritise health and safety in their workplaces in 2024 to ensure fatalities don’t happen. Every work-related fatality is preventable.”
HSA Programme of Work for 2024
The HSA has recently published its Programme of Work for 2024 which will focus on particular work activities and workplaces through a range of proactive inspections and targeted campaigns in 2024, including in the high-risk sectors such as agriculture and construction. The Programme of Work also highlights key areas of focus in relation to changing workforce demographics and technological and environmental impacts on Irish workers.
Conor O’Brien, Chief Executive, HSA, on publishing the HSA’s Programme of Work 2024, stated “We are committed to collaboration, consultation and communication with all stakeholders, across all industries and will continue to work with partners in high priority sectors such as agriculture and construction. The Authority is looking ahead to the future as we take account of changing work, workers and workplaces in Ireland. We have and will continue to develop supports and resources to address the evolving nature of the work environment including impacts related to psychosocial hazards, digitalisation, sustainability, and changing workforce demographics.”
Download the HSA Programme of Work.