The Health and Safety Authority is launching a new awareness raising campaign aimed at tackling the rising fatality rate and level of injuries in the construction sector.
The new television ad – “Building is hard. Rebuilding is harder.” – is a graphic depiction of the typical tools used on construction sites placed alongside those used by medical professionals in operating theatres, the types of tools nobody ever wants to get close to in real life. The new TV ad will run across a range of channels including RTE, TV3, TG4, Sky and Channel 4 from today.
According to Michael McDonagh, Head of Construction Policy with the Health and Safety Authority, “In the five-year period from 2010 to the end of 2014, 39 people lost their lives in construction-related activity. This was in the context of a major recession which saw a huge decline in construction activity. I am very concerned at the projected number of deaths over the coming years if current trends continue.
“The construction industry is primed for growth and we are seeing many new projects at planning stage. In this context it is vital that we are proactive in raising awareness of the high levels of risk on construction sites and influencing attitudes and behaviours amongst construction workers.”
Gavin Lonergan, Head of Communications with the Health and Safety Authority, said: “The new campaign is respectful of the tough job construction workers do on a daily basis. Our message is very clear: construction workers need to be alert and always work safely on sites or they risk getting up close and personal with tools of a different kind…the kind used by medical professionals.”
The rate of fatalities in the construction sector fell sharply from 7.4 per 100,000 workers in 2004 to 4.1 in 2010, a period encompassing boom and bust. However, from 2010 onwards and despite the impact of the recession, the fatality rate for the construction sector increased steadily from 4.1 deaths per 100,000 workers in 2010 to 9.4 in 2013.