Newsbites April 2018

COMPANY FIINED €125k AFTER EMPLOYEE HAS FOUR FINGERS AMPUTATED

Trim Circuit Court has fined a company €125,000 after an industrial accident which left an employee with four fingers amputated. Judge Michael O’Shea made the decision to issue the fine to Kilsaran Concrete ULC, after the company had previously pleaded guilty to the breach of safety regulations.

The court heard that, on 15 May 2014, employee Tomas Moran was cleaning the dosing section of a machine involved in the manufacturing of concrete products when he had four of his fingers amputated. An investigation from the Health and Safety Authority found that there was no safe system of work in place to clean the machine involved in the accident. An employee of the company was killed in September 2011 while working on the same machine. Earlier this year, the Court of Criminal Appeal increased the fine handed down to Kilsaran for that incident from €125,000 to €1 million.


47 PEOPLE DIED IN WORKPLACE ACCIDENTS LAST YEAR (AND 14 OF THEM WERE ELDERLY FARMERS)

New figures from the Health and Safety Authority show that there were 47 fatal accidents last year, up one from 46 the year before. Of the 47, 24 deaths were recorded in the agriculture, making it the eighth year in a row that the sector had the highest number of deaths.

Elderly farmers are the most at risk group, with 14 killed last year while working. ”We have seen fourteen elderly farmers killed this year, many of them working alone at the time of the accident,said HSA chief executive Martin O’Halloran. “Finding supports for elderly farmers or farmers working alone is something that needs to be addressed. The Health and Safety Authority will continue to do its part through inspection, awareness raising and education but safe farming has to happen every day, not just after an inspection.” he said.

After agriculture, the construction and transport sectors had the highest number of fatalities, with six deaths each. Five people died in the public administration and defence sector, making it the fourth most at risk group. Across all sectors, accidents involving vehicles accounted for 21 of all deaths last year. A total of six people died from falls from height, making it the next most common cause. The majority of deaths (28) involved 18-65-year-old men. Dublin, Mayo and Cork recorded the highest number of deaths, with six each.

We have over 2 million people at work and this is a positive development. However, this will lead to increased traffic and movement of vehicles in workplaces creating hazards that must be managed,” said O’Halloran. “Regardless of the sector, where we have people and vehicles moving in close proximity, the danger is elevated.


WORKERS’ MEMORIAL DAY 2018 – APRIL 28TH

For everyone with an interest in the safety, health and welfare of people at work, April 28th is an important date. It’s the date every year when trade union and employer groups worldwide, as well as individual organisations, remember those who have been killed or injured in work-related accidents.

Colleagues from Congress, Ibec, the Health and Safety Authority and Construction Industry Federation will come together to mark the occasion with a programme of joint awareness raising initiatives.  To mark the day there are a range of initiatives that your organisation should consider including:

Get involved by using the national Workers’ Memorial Day Ireland logo on your website, social media presence, presentations, email signatures, displays and in offices and workplaces

  • In-house training sessions or a toolbox talk
  • Website/Social Media/Newsletter content
  • Guest speaker presentation to your staff
  • Press release to your local/national media marking your event / the day.

Worker safety and health is everyone’s business and can only be tackled through a collaborative approach. April 28th presents an important opportunity to remember and to consolidate everyone’s focus around a single day. Please mark the date in your calendar and make the commitment to contribute to this most important challenge.

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