Significant drop in work accidents, but increase in deaths in the agricultural sector

The 22nd annual report and accounts covers the period from April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021.

There were 11 fatalities across all sectors – the same figure as the previous year – with an increase of four in the agricultural sector.

The number of serious, often life-changing injuries fell to 158, a 46% reduction, while the number of reportable injuries fell 16% to 1,525.

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Derek Martin, President of HSENI, commented: “HSENI has found the period of this report to be a very demanding period due to the Covid-19 outbreak, which resulted in 8,167 calls being received by our helpline. assistance and an unprecedented increase in requests for advice and complaints. surrounding the Coronavirus.

“The HSENI team worked tirelessly with workplaces throughout this period, to ensure that appropriate measures were taken to reduce the risk of transmission of Covid-19 and its potential to disrupt the production of services. .

“Besides the difficulties, I am very encouraged that serious injuries have decreased by 46% and all reportable injuries have decreased by 16% compared to the previous year’s figures.

He added, “I am immensely proud of the tireless work and dedication that HSENI staff have shown during this very difficult time, and I am confident that we will continue to focus on reducing these numbers in the months to come. “.

During the reporting period, the HSENI carried out 2,057 inspections which resulted in the issuance of 104 enforcement notices.

The Major Investigations team carried out a successful prosecution which resulted in a £75,000 fine. Much of the HSENI’s investigative work continued and a number of cases were submitted to the PPSNI for review.

HSENI Managing Director Robert Kidd said: “The effects of the Covid-19 pandemic throughout the reporting period had a significant impact on many premises falling within the scope of HSENI.

“We have worked with various government bodies and the Public Health Agency to help industries minimize the challenges of Covid-19.

“When site visits were not possible, our inspectorate continued to fulfill our important functions of providing advice and guidance to employers and employees via email, telephone and video calls.

“Staff also worked alongside other agencies to address Covid clusters and outbreaks associated with workplaces across the province.

“My colleagues and I are never satisfied with workplace fatalities, and we continue to ensure that our work is focused on preventing them.

“Overall, deaths across all of our sectors remained at 11.

“There was an increase of four in the agricultural sector.

“Construction fatalities fell by one to three, while serious injuries and reportable injuries fell by 46% and 16% respectively.”

Mr. Kidd continued: “I am indebted to the entire HSENI team for the experience, dedication and willingness to carry out their duties in these most difficult times.

“We said goodbye to a number of long serving members of our Board of Directors and welcomed new ones. “We are starting to plan our next business plan.

“We look forward to continuing our positive engagement with duty bearers as we work to reduce fatalities and serious injuries,” he concluded.

To download and view the HSENI Annual Report and Accounts for 2020/2021, please visit the following link www.hseni.gov.uk/publications/hseni-annual-reports

Lana T. Arthur