Construction worker fatalities have decreased by almost 50% since 2015, according to recent figures released by the Health and Safety Authority. The industry has also seen a reduction in the number on non-fatal incidents over the same time period. The improvement was highlighted as Construction Safety Week kicked off today and will see construction workers all over Ireland participate ‘down tools’ for a minute to highlight safety on sites. Among the initiatives taking place, Rory O’Connor and the construction industry have teamed up to highlight safety on sites and mental health awareness in a week-long national campaign
Dermot Carey, Director Safety and Training, Construction Industry Federation (CIF) said: “As for previous years, Construction Safety Week represents an opportunity for the industry to share and to celebrate best practice to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of all workers. Whilst the campaign extends for one week (Monday through Friday) and covers five strategic topics, the goal is for individuals and companies to re-affirm their commitment to safe and healthy work practices and to strive for continual improvement for the present and future. The CIF is heartened by the large number of companies that have signed up as Partners of Construction Safety Week 2019 and planned an array of activities during the week. The CIF is calling for all construction companies, no matter how big or small to get involved in Construction Safety Week 2019, to engage with workers and to strive for safer and healthier projects for the benefit of all. I would like to acknowledge the support provided by this year’s sponsors, including: Walls Construction, Collen Construction, SSE Airtricity, Irish Water, Hilti, IOSH, Keating Construction, Gas Networks Ireland, Kirby Group Engineering and ESB Networks. To learn more about Construction Safety Week, visit: https://cif.ie/safety-week/ and share messaging via #CIFSafety19”
Comedian and YouTube star Rory O’Connor, is lending his support this year to drive home the importance of Mental Health and Wellbeing.
Rory O’Connor, CIF Safety Ambassador, said: “Worker’s mental health is a silent safety issue for construction workers. There’s over 145,000 people working in the industry and the vast majority of these are men aged between 20 and 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, as well as messages on social media from people talking about their own stories, thankful that I am raising awareness of looking after your mental health. I do believe the stigma is starting to breakdown, but 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 actually thinks about the person’s own mental health, which is obviously 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."
According to the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) 6 people have lost their lives in construction related activity over the last 12 months (October-October).
Construction Safety Week is an initiative of the Construction Safety Partnership Advisory Committee (CSPAC). This is a grouping of all the main stakeholders in the construction sector in Ireland – Employers, Unions, State Bodies (in conjunction with the Health & Safety Authority) and Professional Bodies.
Our collective objective is to continue to highlight the issues of health and safety in the Irish construction industry and to drive continual improvement. Good health and safety depend on co-operation between all parties on a project – from client to designers and contractors – everyone’s safety depends on their co-workers or the person working beside you or above you.
The mission for this week is to re-focus on health and safety and it’s a call to action for companies of all sizes to run a safety event this week.
Construction Safety Week 2019 is sponsored by Walls Construction, Collen Construction, SSE Airtricity, Irish Water, Hilti, IOSH, Keating Construction, Gas Networks Ireland, Kirby Group Engineering and ESB Networks.
For more information on the events taking place see: www.cif.ie/safety-week, check out activity on @CIF_ireland or by using #CIFSafety19