The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) has published its latest Annual Report which shows a significant decrease in major injuries. In 2018/19 major injuries were down by 28% to 325 compared to 453 in the previous year.
Fatal injuries during 2018/19 increased to 12 compared to 11 in 2017/18. Of the 12 fatal injuries, seven occurred in agriculture, three in construction, one in manufacturing and one in the local authority sector.
Derek Martin, Chairperson of HSENI stated: “I am encouraged that the major injury numbers have dropped by 28% on last year as we know these injuries often have devastating life-changing outcomes for workers. The number of workplace deaths is disappointing. We will continue to collaborate with our partners and industry bodies to ensure the focus remains on ensuring the safety and health of workers. I am extremely supportive of the work we have carried out in the field of occupational health and hygiene. We will continue to raise awareness of issues in the workplace which we know are associated with chronic ill-health.”
HSENI Chief Executive Robert Kidd said: “It has been a very busy and challenging year for HSENI. We are reporting on the first year of our draft corporate plan. Excellent progress has been made in areas such as workplace health and this will continue as a central theme in our work as we know the high costs to individuals, organisations and the economy of not getting this right.
“The Farm Safety Partnership remains the vehicle through which HSENI and its partners and affiliates will continue to work together to improve farm safety. The number of fatalities in this sector remains a concern and we need to redouble our efforts to assist the industry to reduce this number. The construction industry has made huge steps in managing both health and safety but there can be no room for complacency in the management of safe work at height where we saw two fatalities this year.
“HSENI remains focused on the important work of stopping unsafe working practices and making industries safer every day. We are grateful to all those who share our ambition to make Northern Ireland’s workplaces as safe and healthy as possible, and who have contributed to the achievement of the outcomes set out in our Annual Report.”
The Annual Report highlights the work HSENI undertakes ranging from partnering with organisations to provide advice and raise health and safety awareness to its enforcement and inspection role. It is also worth noting that this is the first year of the Draft HSENI Corporate Plan 2018-23, a Plan which demonstrates HSENI’s commitment to improving health and safety standards across all sectors in Northern Ireland.
During 2018/19, HSENI carried out 5,522 inspections of workplaces and served 222 formal enforcement notices where poor practice was found.