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Fatal injury statistics show quadrupled risk among older workers

Provisional data from HSE shows that risk of fatality for workers over 60 is disproportionately high

The latest workplace injury statistics from the HSE have shown a rise on last year, with a disproportionate number occuring amongst workers over 60.

Self-employed workers are also at much higher risk of fatal injury than their employed counterparts, according to the statistics - the ratio is 0.84 fatalities per 100,000 self-employed workers, compared to 0.38 per 100,000 for employed workers.

The headline figure is a rise of 7 per cent in fatalities across all industries, to 144, although the Executive said ths could be explained by natural variation. 

However, the Executive noted that 55 fatal injuries occurred to workers aged 60 or over, which is 40 per cent of the total, despite this age group only comprising 10 per cent of the workforce.

Construction is again the most dangerous occupation, in terms of fatal injuries, with 38 fatalities in 2017-2018. Although this is one fewer death than last year, it puts construction significantly ahead of the next highest sector, agriculture, on 29.

However, when the size of the industry is factored in, construction’s 1.64 fatalities per 100,000 workers  is far behind both agriculture on 8.44 per 100,000 and waste and recycling on 10.26 per 100,000. 

The most common form of fatality remains falls from height, accounting for 34 fatal injuries -  almost a quarter of all fatalities - followed by ‘struck by moving vehicle’ and ‘struct by falling object’ on 26 and 23 respectively.

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