What Happened / Impact?

We lament the first confirmed fatality at work for the Irish construction sector in 2019.  Details as follows:

DATE AND TIME OF ACCIDENT: Approximately 11.50am on 15th April 2019
LOCATION OF ACCIDENT: Leighlinbridge, Co. Carlow
NATURE OF BUSINESS (NACE Sector): F(4120) Construction of residential & non-residential building
OCCUPATION: Pre- Cast Erector
AGE: 46
WORKPLACE ENVIRONMENT: Private house or related area
CIRCUMSTANCES OF ACCIDENT: The deceased was unloading and placing precast hollow floor slabs onto first floor of a single dwelling house when he fell from a height receiving fatal injuries.
HOW INJURED: Fall from height
TYPE OF INJURY: Multiple Injuries
BODY PART INJURED: Whole body or multiple sites


Why it Happened?

The root cause of the fatality is currently undeclared.


Immediate Learnings / Recommendations

The Health and Safety Authority undertook a review of construction-related fatal accidents in Ireland between 1989 and 2016 and found that 40% of fatalities in the sector were as a result of falls from height.  Some key principles for working safely at height include:

Advice from the Health and Safety Authority pertaining to working at height includes:

  • Carry out risk assessments for work at height activities and make sure that all work is Planned, Organised and carried out by a competent person;
  • Follow the General Principles of Prevention for managing risks from work at height – take steps to avoid, prevent or reduce risks;
  • Chose the right work equipment and select collective measures to prevent falls (such as guard rails and working platforms) before other measures which may only reduce the distance and consequences of a fall (such as nets or airbags) or may only provide fall-arrest through personal protection equipment.

For further information, see: https://www.hsa.ie/eng/Topics/Work_at_Height/

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