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Four workplace deaths in one week shocking and unacceptable

26 October, 2005

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Enterprise, Trade and Employment Arthur Morgan T.D. has expressed his shock at the revelation by the Health and Safety Authority that there have been four workplace deaths so far this week. He called on the Government to increase the strength of the Health and Safety Authority inspectorate and to bring forward legislation on corporate killing without further delay.

Deputy Morgan said:

"It is really shocking that four people have died in workplace accidents this week. Two of those killed worked in the construction sector. The numbers which continue to be killed in workplace accidents in the construction sector is totally unacceptable. The Government must bare some responsibility for this as there has been an unwarranted delay in bringing forward the new Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Construction) Regulations which were drawn up by the HSA and its construction advisory committee a year and a half ago.

"I am calling on the Government, in light of the increased workforce and the number which continue to be killed and injured in workplace accidents, to increase the strength of health and safety inspectorate to achieve European norms in terms of inspectors to workforce.

"I am also calling on the Government to bring forward legislation for the introduction of the crime of corporate killing without further delay. This is a long-standing demand from the trade unions sector which result from the criminal law's failure to be able to convict companies of manslaughter where a death has occurred due to gross negligence by the organisation as a whole. Corporate killing rules, in force in many other states, would go along way to tackling the fact that penalties are not creating sufficient deterrents." ENDS

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