The Health and Safety Authority has reported a 30% reduction in work-related fatalities for 2021.

Provisional annual statistics for 2021 from the HSA show that as of 30 December, 38 people had lost their lives in work-related incidents, compared to 54 in 2020.

This represented the lowest figure recorded since the Health and Safety Authority was established over 30 years ago.

The farming sector saw a decline of over 50%, with nine fatalities recorded in 2021 compared to 20 in 2020, but the sector still remains one of the most dangerous industries in which to work.

The construction sector also saw a 38% decline in work-related deaths, with ten workers losing their lives in 2021 following a spike in fatalities in 2020.

The HSA said that ten deaths is too many and smaller sites and contractors in particular need to ensure that worker safety is at the top of the priority list every day.

Cork, Dublin and Wexford record the highest level of fatalities with five in each county, but no fatalities were recorded during the year in Kilkenny, Leitrim, Longford, Louth, Monaghan, Roscommon, Waterford and Westmeath.

Today's figures show that the most common incident causes leading to deaths in workplace settings were the loss of control of a vehicle or its attachments (12) and falling from a height (ten).

Between them, these two accounted for well over half of all fatalities (58%).

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While the farming and construction sectors saw significant declines in fatalities, some sectors experienced an increase.

The transportation and storage sector recorded an increase from two deaths in 2020 to six in 2021 while the forestry and logging sector saw two deaths after none last year.

Mark Cullen, Chief Inspector with the Health and Safety Authority, said it was positive to see such a substantial decline in work-related fatalities in 2021.


Figures from the HSA

"However, our view is that every work-related death is preventable. Christmas this year for the families and friends of these 38 individuals will have been a difficult one and our thoughts are with them," Mr Cullen said.