New figures issued by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA), reveal a 23% drop in work-related deaths in Ireland in 2018.

A total of 37 people were killed in accidents at work in 2018 compared to 48 fatalities in 2017. This number represents the lowest number since HSA records began in 1989, with a rate of 1.6 deaths per 100,000 low-paid workers, a reduction of 75% on 1991 figures.


Though the sector that employs just 6% of the workforce, Agriculture constituted 41% of total workplace fatalities for 2018. For the 9th year running agriculture had the highest number of work related fatalities in 2018 with 15 deaths. This is a 40% reduction on the 2017 figure of 25 fatalities.

  • With five fatalities reported, Dublin had the highest number of fatalities in the past year
  • Cork, Galway, and Mayo each had four people die in work-related deaths.
  • Construction  had five deaths – Down from six in 2017
  • Transport, had five deaths – Down from six in 2017

Dr Sharon McGuinness, chief executive officer of the HSA said, “Due to the efforts of employers, employees and key stakeholders, there has been a huge improvement in health and safety standards…” “However, with 37 people losing their lives in work related activity in 2018 there is clearly still more to be done”.

McGuinness went on to state that while employers are facing challenges such as Brexit and a skills shortage in certain sectors, it was important to prioritise the health and safety of workers, adding that safe employees were “the backbone of any successful enterprise”.

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We at Chris Mee Group are industry leaders in the areas of Behaviour Based Safety (BBS) and Observational Based Safety programmes.

Take a look through to our Behaviour Based Safety (BBS) information pages to find out more about how BBS systems can help you to reduce accidents.