Minister of State, Dara Calleary, has urged businesses to keep health and safety at the top of their agenda, and not use the economic downturn as an excuse for cut backs in this area.
Speaking to health and safety professionals from across the country, who had gathered for the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health’s (IOSH’s ) Ireland annual conference in Naas, Mayo TD Dara Calleary said that while businesses need to cut costs in the harsh economic climate were understandable, they must not leave workers exposed to greater safety risks.
Dep Calleary said: “There is a huge focus on cost-saving. With that, there may be the temptation, on the part of some, to look at the occupational safety and health budget and bracket it with dispensable expenditure headings. However challenging the times, we must continue to push the safety message so that everyone in the workplace is aware of it. We need everyone to be aware of the value of a safe workplace and I urge all those in the workplace to keep safety and health at the top of the agenda.”
Last year 57 workers died in workplace accidents in Ireland, with agriculture, hunting and forestry claiming 21 lives and construction killing 15 people.