The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) has released its annual report today which show that the number of deaths in the workplace rose in 2011 to 54.
During the year, there were 32 prosecutions for health and safety breeches with penalties including five suspended sentences and €819,700 in fines imposed.
The Authority carried out 15,340 inspections and investigations with 7% of them resulting in formal enforcement action.
Loss of control of vehicles and/or machinery was the most common cause of workplace deaths (15 in 2011).
Manual handling related injuries accounted for approximately one-third of the 6,956 non-fatal injuries reported with slips, trips and falls (17%) being the next most common.
Cork had the highest number of workplace fatalities in 2011 with 13 fatalities in total, 6 of which occurred in farming.
“We know, from our accident investigations that many of the 54 fatal accidents reported last year were preventable,” said HSA chief executive Martin O’Halloran. “While some work can be hazardous, good health and safety practice does save lives. Those companies which are successful in protecting the safety, health and welfare of their staff are also successful in business.”