Vehicle-related workplace deaths

Vehicles have become a major cause of workplace deaths, despite the best efforts of the Road Safety Authority (RSA) and HSA.

The HSA reported 39 work-related fatalities in 2018, down from 48 in 2017 ─ a 19% decline. Despite the decline, the main dangers last year still came from vehicles in the workplace, with 17 lives lost across all industries.

The farming sector has also seen a 40% decrease in work-related deaths. 2017 saw 25 lives lost, while 15 work-related deaths occurred in 2018.

Another industry to feature is construction which saw 5 work-related deaths last year. The HSA noted that “incidents involving vehicles have contributed for almost half – or 44% – of all deaths” in the construction industry.

According to the Annual Report, 15 prosecutions in 2018 resulted in total fines of €705,972. Inspectors also issued 452 improvement notices, 523 prohibition notices and 35 fines.

Some employers feel that it is the responsibility of the driver, however, while an employer is not accountable for all the actions of the driver they must ensure that they do not:

Require employees to drive unsafe or overloaded vehicles; and/or

Require employees to drive for an excessive number of hours.

The Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 requires that you, the employer, ensure the health, safety and welfare of employment during work.  You must also assess the risks employees face and take action to make the environment safer.

All employees must receive adequate information, instruction, training and supervision on the operation of work related vehicles and this should be documented..