The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) has published its Annual Report and Accounts for the period 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021. The twenty-second Annual Report records a significant decrease in the number of major and recordable injuries in the workplace.

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Across all sectors there were 11 deaths, which is the same figure as the previous year. The number of major injuries, which are often life-changing, fell to 158, a reduction of 46%. The number of reportable injuries saw a decrease of 16% to 1,525.

To download and view the HSENI Annual Report and Accounts for 2020/2021, please see the following link:

Derek Martin, Chairperson of HSENI said: “HSENI found the period of this report to be a very demanding time due to the outbreak of Covid-19, which resulted in our helpline receiving 8,167 calls and an unprecedented increase in requests for advice and complaints surrounding Coronavirus.

“The HSENI team worked tirelessly with workplaces through this period to ensure appropriate measures were being taken to reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission and its potential to disrupt service production.

“Aside from the difficulties, I am greatly encouraged that major injuries were down 46% and all reportable injuries decreased by 16% from the previous year’s figures.

“I am immensely proud of the tireless work and dedication that HSENI staff have shown through this very difficult period, and I am confident we will maintain our focus on reducing those figures further in the coming months.”

During the reporting period, HSENI carried out 2,057 inspections which resulted in 104 enforcement notices being issued. The Major Investigations Team led 1 successful prosecution which resulted in a fine of £75,000. A lot of HSENI’s investigation work continued and a number of files were submitted to the PPSNI for consideration.

HSENI Chief Executive, Robert Kidd said: “The effects of the Covid-19 pandemic throughout the reporting period had a significant impact on many premises falling under HSENI’s enforcement. We collaborated with various government bodies and The Public Health Agency to help industries minimise the challenges of Covid-19.

“When site visits were not possible our inspectorate continued to deliver our important functions by providing advice and guidance to both employers and employees via email, telephone and video calls. Staff also worked alongside other bodies to address Covid clusters and outbreaks associated with province-wide workplaces.

“My colleagues and I are never happy with any fatalities at work and we continue to ensure our work is focused on preventing them. Overall, fatalities across all of our sectors remained at 11. There was an increase of four in the agricultural sector. Fatalities in the construction sector fell by one to three, while major injuries and reportable injuries fell by 46% and 16% respectively.

“I am indebted to the entire HSENI team for the experience, dedication and willingness to fulfill their duties through these most difficult of times. We said goodbye to a number of our long standing board members and welcomed some new ones. We are starting to plan for our next corporate plan. We look forward to continuing our positive engagement with duty-holders as we make every effort to drive down the numbers of fatalities and serious injuries”

Notes to editors: 

  1. HSENI is the lead body responsible for the promotion and enforcement of health and safety work standards in Northern Ireland. HSENI is an Executive Non-Departmental Public Body, sponsored by the Department for the Economy.
  2. For media enquiries please contact HSENI Press Office on 028 9024 3249, or email media@hseni.gov.uk. For Out of Office Hours please contact the Duty Press Officer on 028 9037 8110.

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