Workers Memorial Day Commemorated by Launch of Workplace Safety Handbook

Ged Nash-the Minister for Business and Employment-launched the National Irish Safety Organisation’s ‘Safety Representative Resource Book’ at an event to mark Workers Memorial Day Ireland, and day to recognise and commemorate those injured, killed or made ill by the unsuitable working conditions.

The event was attended by representatives of the National Irish Safety organisation, the CEO of the Health and Safety Authority-Martin O’Halloran- and Patricia King, the General Secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions. Danny McCoy, from the business and employer association IBEC, was also in attendance.

The event served as a reminder to those in attendance of the 253 people killed in work-related accidents between 2010 and 2014, and to commemorate the thousands more that were injured or made sick by their unsafe working conditions. In 2014 alone, more than 50 people had been killed, five children among that number.

The Safety Representative Resource Book revealed the Irish farms had a particularly high rate of deaths, with thirty farm workers being killed in 2014 alone. Over the past ten years, there have been 198 work-related deaths on Irish farms. The following statistics about such fatalities were released;

-30% involved farm vehicles such as tractors
-19% involved farm machinery
-13% involved livestock
-11% resulted from accidents with slurry pits
-9% resulted from falls
-7% resulted from being hit by a falling object

Patricia King commented on such tragic statistics, stating that “no job is worth somebody’s life”, and that “health and safety is non-negotiable”. She called for employers and their workers to co-operate to help prevent such fatalities.