Dáil Éireann - Volume 514 - 09 February, 2000
Written Answers. - Construction Industry Safety.
Mr. O'Shea Mr. O'Shea
73. Mr. O'Shea asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the number of accidents reported in the construction industry in 1999; the number of deaths and the number of people injured as a result; the steps, if any, being taken to deal with the unacceptable level of accidents, injuries and casualties in the sector; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [3508/00]
Mr. T. Kitt Mr. T. Kitt
Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (Mr. T. Kitt): The administration, enforcement and promotion of occupational health and safety legislation is a day to day matter for the National Authority for Occupational Safety and Health, known as the Health and Safety Authority.
Statistical information concerning the number of fatalities and injuries in any work sector is collected by the Health and Safety Authority and is therefore obtainable directly from the Authority at 10 Hogan Place, Dublin 2.
I have, been informed by the authority that a total of 18 construction-related fatalities were reported to the authority in 1999, and 973 non-fatal accidents involving more than three days absence from work were reported to the authority.
The proper management of workplace health and safety in all sectors of employment is based on the principles of legislation, enforcement, information and partnership. The Safety, Health  and Welfare at Work Act, 1989, the 1993 general application regulations and the 1995 construction regulations all provide a strong legislative base by which safety standards in the construction sector can and should be managed. This legislation is enforced in a targeted and pro-active manner by the authority and the additional resources which I recently secured for the authority will enable it to increase its inspection activities, particularly in high-risk sectors such as construction.
However, a stronger partnership approach by all parties is essential to bring about greater improvements in the construction sector. The report of the construction safety partnership, which I launched last October, will be based on an agreement between both sides of industry. The report is currently being finalised and is due to be submitted to me later this month. This report will include actions, agreed by employers and workers in the industry, aimed at bringing about major improvements in health and safety in the construction sector.
Dáil Éireann 514 Written Answers. Construction Industry Safety.