SIPTU has expressed alarm at the decline in the number of workplace inspections carried out by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) which was revealed in the agency’s annual report for 2014 published earlier this week. SIPTU Health and Safety Adviser, Sylvester Cronin, said: “The decline in the number of workplace inspections aimed at assessing adherence with health and safety legislation is of great concern.“The HSA annual report for 2014 indicates that 10,719 inspections were conducted last year. This is a decline of 12% on 2013 when 12,244 inspections were carried out and a reduction of over 40% since 2010 when more than 18,000 inspections were conducted.“This reduction, in workplace inspections, is directly linked to the reduced resources provided by the Government to the HSA.”He added: “The 2014 report also reveals that, regrettably, workplace deaths in Ireland due to accidents have increased by approximately 20%, from 47 in 2013 to 56 in 2014. The rate of serious but non-fatal workplace accidents has also increased.  The report also reveals that the number of days lost due to work-related accidents and illnesses increased to 1,551,549 in 2014 from a low of 746,900 in 2009, which represents an increase of more than 100% in five years.“SIPTU has consistently called for the adequate funding of the HSA in order to ensure resources are available to guarantee legislation aimed at protecting workers’ safety is enforced. This is not only due to the importance of ensuring workplace safety but also is cost effective. There is ample empirical evidence that shows that resources spent on workplace safety saves more.”