The construction industry is on track to have the lowest recorded workplace fatalities this year, with two recorded deaths in 2019. The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) reports 164 non-fatal workplace incidents in construction from January to June 2019.
These statistics are declining year on year, with three fatalities and 278 non-fatal incidents recorded by the HSA during the same period in 2018. This trend has been lead by construction companies adopting behavioural, technological and psychological best-practice to embed safety on thousands of sites around the country.
Dermot Carey, Director, Safety & Training, CIF, said, “The construction industry is striving to make 2019 the year with the lowest recorded work fatalities. Any fatality is one too many. Every incident and fatality is poured over by construction companies to elicit learnings that are shared across the industry to improve safety. The research will show that the moment you feel safe on site is the moment you can become complacent. So, construction companies will constantly remind workers through a range of channels and practices to think about safety and act safely. Signs, warnings, toolbox talks, even accident re-enactments with actors are used to remind workers of the importance of safety continually. At an industry level, we will run our annual Safety Week campaign to drive home the safety message.
Construction Safety Week 2019
The Construction Industry Federation (CIF) has officially launched Construction Safety Week 2019, which will run from 21st to 25th October. All 47,000 construction companies in the country are invited to participate, and there’ll be a national ‘Stand Down for Safety’ to start safety week on sites across the country.
The CIF has teamed up with Rory O’Connor, known for his popular vlog Rory’s Stories, who has been conducting talks to construction workers around the country. Rory is very vocal about both physical on-site safety as well as awareness around mental health.”
Rory O’Connor, CIF Safety Ambassador, said, “Worker’s mental health is a silent safety issue for construction workers. Over 145,000 people are working in the industry, and the vast majority of these are men aged between 20-50.
“I believe it’s really important that they feel they can talk about mental health on site. I do believe mental health problems can lead to physical accidents on site by people not being in the right frame of mind.
“I’ve been doing lots of toolbox talks about safety and mental health around the country and these have gotten a great response. I’ve had people come up to me after the talks and tell me their own stories. I also have received messages on social media from people talking about their own stories, who are thankful that I am raising awareness about looking after your mental health. I believe that the stigma is starting to breakdown. People need to understand that it is okay to talk about it with each other. “When people think of safety on construction sites or in the construction industry, they think of hard hats, high-vis jackets, glasses and gloves, but no one thinks about the person’s mental health, which is hidden to everyone. The key message we want to spread is of positive mental health and to let construction workers know it is okay not to feel okay. It’s perfectly acceptable to open up and ask for help.”
Construction Safety Week 2019 Daily Themes
The CIF’s Safety Week 2019 takes place from 21st to 25th this year. This coincides with European Safety Week, the theme of which is ‘Healthy Workplaces Manage Dangerous Substances’. This year’s Construction Safety Week themes are:
Day 1. Mental Health and Wellbeing in Construction
Day 2. Vehicle Risk & Safety in Lifting
Day 3. Working Safely with Electricity
Day 4. Working Safely at Height
Day 5. Hazardous Substances
Thousands of construction workers will participate in safety-related activities for the week. To register your interest or to find out more about organising events visit https://cif.ie/safety-week/
Sponsors of Construction Safety Week 2019 include SSE Airtricity
Five Tips to Get Involved in Construction Safety Week 2019
The CIF is seeking the active involvement and engagement of individual workers and companies during Construction Safety Week 2019. The following suggestions may be helpful to anyone planning to organise activities.
- Organise a safety event during this week, for example, a safety talk or demonstration and publicise this via social media, using the hashtag #CIFSafety19
- Advise the CIF of your planned actions in the “Safety Week Activities” dedicated section of the CIF website at www.cif.ie/safety-week and on social media, using the hashtag #CIFSafety19
- Download a copy of the Construction Safety Week logo and use it on your website, in communications and as an addition to your email signature.
- Register as an official partner to Construction Safety week by contacting Michaela Courtney: firstname.lastname@example.org/01-407 1400
- Get involved in European Safety Week by visiting the webpage of the European Agency for Safety and Health and downloading accessing the OSH Campaign Toolkit here: www.osha.europa.eu/en/healthy-workplaces-campaigns
If your company is organising its own Construction Safety Week activities prior to Construction Safety Week, CIF asks that you use the hashtag #CIFSafety19 to help get the safety message out.