The Construction Industry Federation (CIF) launched its #CIFsafety17 Construction Safety Week campaign on Monday.
Construction workers across Ireland downed tools for one minute to mark the beginning of Construction Safety Week. The campaign aims to raise awareness about site safety, particularly amongst the thousands of small contractors operating in the industry.
To mark Construction Safety Week, the Health and Safety Authority has released statistics on construction accidents.
The number of fatal accidents in construction decreased by 43% between 2004 and 2016.
Due to the nature of the work and the huge number of employees (circa 140,000), the industry has a high volume of absolute workplace accidents. However, injuries have decreased over the last decade from 837 in 2004 to 333 in 2016 – a decrease of 60%.
Over 99% of companies in the industry are SMEs, and most victims of accidents are small contractors and self-employed.
There were five fatal falls from height in 2016. All involved small contractors or self-employed construction workers. The next most common cause of fatalities in construction in 2016 was the loss of control of equipment.
Slips and falls are the main cause of non-fatal accidents (32% in 2016) with lifting or carrying the next most common cause of non-fatal injury (24% in 2016).
Over the past 12 months, eight people have died as a result of accidents on Irish construction sites.
Broadcaster Baz Ashmawy of the Emmy Award-winning TV show 50 Ways to Kill Your Mammy and his mother Nancy, are featured in a series of safety videos that will air on CIF social media channels and will be shown on construction sites around the country throughout the week.
“Construction Safety Week allows us to redouble efforts on improving health and safety as our industry recovers. The very nature of construction work means that the potential for an accident is always present. Complacency can be a killer,” says Tom Parlon, CIF Director General.
“Thankfully, our industry places a major emphasis on safety training and effective safety management procedures. Safety is something that our industry takes very seriously and this week is about raising awareness by celebrating the efforts of our members to promote safety. This year, we are focussing on smaller contractors, and I’d call on all construction companies, SMEs in particular, to stand down for safety for one minute on Monday and participate in Construction Safety Week activities.
“As our industry continues to recover, we are hiring an additional 1,000 workers per month for the last 50 months. We have a responsibility to constantly refresh awareness of health and safety on site to make sure new employees entering the industry have the knowledge and skills necessary to keep safe and well.
“This Construction Safety Week, we want to get the message out to everyone to stay safe on- and off-site and to look out for friends and colleagues. I’m particularly proud that many of our members are focussing on mental health this year. I think that we as an industry, need to be more aware of mental illness and look after our colleagues more – a quiet word of support is all it takes.”
Construction Safety Week will take place from Monday 23 to Friday 27 October, with construction companies across the country running hundreds of activities in offices and on sites throughout the five days, focusing on the following daily themes:
Construction Safety Week sponsors include the Construction Workers Sick Pay Trust, ESB Networks, Collen Construction, Grafton Merchanting ROI and Brooks Group.
For more information and to learn more about the ways you can get involved visit: