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Published in Construction on 19/07/2019

Construction Accidents in Decline Despite Growing Activity


CNI Editor reports

The construction industry is on track to have the lowest recorded workplace fatalities this year, with two recorded deaths in 2019. The Health and Safety Authority report 164 non-fatal workplace incidents in construction from January to June 2019.

These numbers are declining year on year, with 3 fatalities and 278 non-fatal incidents recorded by the HSA during the same period in 2018. This trend has been lead by construction companies adopting behavioural, technological and psychological best-practice to embed safety on thousands of sites around the country.

Dermot Carey, Director, Safety & Training CIF said “The construction industry is striving to make 2019 the year with the lowest recorded work fatalities. Any fatality is one too many. Every incident and fatality is poured over by construction companies to elicit learnings that are shared across the industry to improve safety. The research will show that the moment you feel safe on site is the moment you can become complacent, so construction companies will constantly remind workers through a range of channels and practices 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. At an industry level, we will run our annual Safety Week campaign to drive home the safety message.”

The Construction Industry Federation is officially launching Construction Safety Week 2019 which will run from 21st – 25th October. All 47,000 construction companies in the country are invited to participate and there’ll be a national ‘Stand Down for Safety’ to start safety week on sites across the country.

The CIF have teamed up with Rory O’Connor, more commonly known as Rory’s Stories, who has been conducting talks to construction workers around the country. Rory is very vocal about both physical on-site safety as well as awareness around mental health.

Physical injury and mental health awareness are not the only issues that CIF are highlighting. Those spending prolonged periods of time outdoors are at risk of developing skin cancer, with almost 90% of skin cancer cases in the construction industry preventable. For this reason, the Construction Industry Federation (CIF) and the Irish Cancer Society have joined forces to raise awareness of the inherent health risks associated with exposure of unprotected skin to the sun.

The CIF’s Safety Week 2019 takes place from October 21st to 25th this year. This coincides with European Safety Week, the theme of which is ‘Healthy Workplaces Manage Dangerous Substances’. This year’s CIF Safety Week themes are:

1. Mental Health and Wellbeing in Construction

2. Vehicle Risk & Safety in Lifting

3. Working Safely with Electricity

4. Working Safely at Height

5. Hazardous Substances

Thousand of construction workers will participate in safety-related activities for the duration of the week.