HSENI reports a decrease in serious injuries

Date published: 23 October 2019

The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) today published its latest Annual Report which shows a significant decrease in major injuries. In 2018/19 major injuries were down by 28% to 325 compared to 453 in the previous year.

HSENI Annual Report and Accounts 2019

Fatal injuries during 2018/19 increased to 12 compared to 11 in 2017/18. Of the 12 fatal injuries, seven occurred in agriculture, three in construction, one in manufacturing and one in the local authority sector.

Derek Martin, Chairperson of HSENI stated: “I am encouraged that the major injury numbers have dropped by 28% on last year as we know these injuries often have devastating life-changing outcomes for workers. The number of workplace deaths is disappointing. We will continue to collaborate with our partners and industry bodies to ensure the focus remains on ensuring the safety and health of workers. I am extremely supportive of the work we have carried out in the field of occupational health and hygiene. We will continue to raise awareness of issues in the workplace which we know are associated with chronic ill-health.”

HSENI Chief Executive Robert Kidd said: “It has been a very busy and challenging year for HSENI. We are reporting on the first year of our draft corporate plan. Excellent progress has been made in areas such as workplace health and this will continue as a central theme in our work as we know the high costs to individuals, organisations and the economy of not getting this right.

“The Farm Safety Partnership remains the vehicle through which HSENI and its partners and affiliates will continue to work together to improve farm safety. The number of fatalities in this sector remains a concern and we need to redouble our efforts to assist the industry to reduce this number.

“The construction industry has made huge steps in managing both health and safety but there can be no room for complacency in the management of safe work at height where we saw two fatalities this year.

“HSENI remains focused on the important work of stopping unsafe working practices and making industries safer every day. We are grateful to all those who share our ambition to make Northern Ireland’s workplaces as safe and healthy as possible, and who have contributed to the achievement of the outcomes set out in our Annual Report.”

The Annual Report highlights the work HSENI undertakes ranging from partnering with organisations to provide advice and raise health and safety awareness to its enforcement and inspection role. It is also worth noting that this is the first year of the Draft HSENI Corporate Plan 2018-23, a Plan which demonstrates HSENI’s commitment to improving health and safety standards across all sectors in Northern Ireland.

During 2018/19, HSENI carried out 5,522 inspections of workplaces and served 222 formal enforcement notices where poor practice was found.

Copies of the report, including a ‘Key facts and figures’ summary, can be accessed at the following link:


Notes to editors: 

Notes to editors: 

  1. The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) is an Executive Non-Departmental Public Body, sponsored by the Department for the Economy.
  2. HSENI is the lead body responsible for the promotion and enforcement of health and safety at work standards in Northern Ireland.
  3. HSENI works closely with its co-regulators in the District Councils in enforcing health and safety standards and delivering health and safety services.
  4. HSENI’s latest Annual Report and Statement of Accounts covers the period from 1 April 2018 to 31 March 2019.
  5. See below for ‘Key Facts and Figures for 2018/19’ extracted from the Annual Report.
  6. The Farm Safety Partnership, established in May 2012, comprises the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI), the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), the Ulster Farmers’ Union, NFU Mutual, the Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster and the Northern Ireland Agricultural Producers Association. It is chaired by a member of HSENI’s Board and its aim is to increase awareness of farm safety and to reduce work-related fatalities and injuries on farms.

Farm fatality figures for the last 6 years are:

  • 2013-14: 4 fatalities
  • 2014-15: 9 fatalities
  • 2015-16: 6 fatalities
  • 2016-17: 6 fatalities
  • 2017-18: 7 fatalities
  • 2018-19: 7 fatalities

8.   For media enquiries please contact: HSENI Press Office on 028 9024 3249 or email media@hseni.gov.uk 

9.   For out of office hours please contact the Duty Press Officer on 028 9037 8110.

Key Facts and Figures for 2018/19

In areas where HSENI has enforcement responsibilities, key trends in work-related injuries are as follows:

  • fatalities up by 1 to 12, compared to 11 in the previous year;
  • fatalities in the agriculture sector remained the same as the previous year with seven fatalities;
  • fatalities in the construction sector remained unchanged from the previous year with three fatalities;
  • major injuries down 28% on last year from 453 to 325; and
  • all reportable injuries up by 0.4% on last year to 1,906 from 1,898.

During the year, HSENI:

  • continued its Farm Safety Partnership work through the third Farm Safety Action Plan and the FSP Affiliate Scheme;
  • reached over 12,900 children in 85 rural primary schools with its “Be Aware Kids” farm safety messages;
  • involved 3,500 pupils from 98 primary schools in its Child Safety on Farms Poster competition and distributed 42,500 copies of the calendar produced from the winning entries;
  • completed five successful prosecutions, which saw fines totalling £68,500;
  • achieved UKAS Accreditation for its Scientific Services Unit;
  • delivered 5,522 inspections and served 222 formal enforcement notices;
  • dealt with 844 complaints about alleged unsatisfactory working conditions and activities;
  • prepared amendments to 19 Northern Ireland Statutory Rules, prepared eight sets of regulations (including five in relation to the UK’s Exit from the EU) and published two revised Approved Codes of Practice;
  • submitted an Annual Equality Report to the Equality Commission;
  • organised six key events on issues such as waste and recycling safety, asbestos management, construction health and safety and product safety;
  • held or attended 61 promotional events including seminars, lectures, workshops and presentations, with 145 published materials;
  • distributed over 13,595 free publications giving health and safety advice;
  • dealt with 6,473 calls for information via its Freephone Helpline; and enabled website visitors to download over 113,605 publication files.

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