Wednesday, 9th January 2008
A report published by the Health Safety Authority (HSA) last week showed that Waterford had the highest number of work-related fatalities in 2007 with ten people losing their lives.
The ten work-related deaths means that Waterford is not only the highest county for this category of fatality but Waterford also represents two thirds of national fishing deaths and over ten per cent of construction deaths in the workplace for 2007.
Waterford's high rate of work-related deaths falls along with an overall national increase in deaths at the workplace with 67 dying in the 26 counties in 2007; 17 more than in 2006.
Mark Ryan, of the HSA, told Waterford Today Newspaper that Waterford's high fatality rate stemmed from the fishing disasters of the Pere Charles and the Honeydew 2 last year with eight of the ten Waterford work-related deaths occuring in the fishing sector.
The remaining two deaths of the total of ten during work occurred in the construction industry which had its death toll rise by 50% nationally in 2007 compared with last year while the fishing sector had a six-fold increase in on the job deaths with twelve last year compared to just two deaths in 2006.
The figures do not bode well for the South East overall with five work-related deaths occuring in Wexford and the same amount dying at work in Kilkenny last year also.
While Waterford had the largest number of work deaths in the country, the county also encountered a massive increase on the previous years with just one work death in 2005 and none on 2006.
Other South East counties fared better than Waterford, Kilkenny and Wexford in the report with Carlow having one death and Tipperary having no deaths at work last year.
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