Farming 'has safety issue' as death rate rises by 17pc
The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) has admitted there is "a systemic problem" with safety on Irish farms after agriculture was the only sector to show an increase in workplace fatalities last year.
The HSA revealed that 44 people died in workplace accidents in 2016 - a 21pc fall on 2015 when the figure was 56.
However, while all other major industrial sectors showed a decline in fatal accidents, farming recorded a rise of 17pc.
A total of 21 people died on Irish farms last year compared with 18 in 2015. That was despite other sectors within agriculture, including both forestry and fishing, showing declines.
No one died in a forestry-related accident last year - compared with one death in 2015 - while fatalities in fishing fell from five in 2015 to three last year.
The breakdown of fatal accidents included construction (nine), mining (one), manufacturing (two), water supply (one), motor trade and transportation (three), support services (two), social work (one) and recreation (one).
HSA chief executive Martin O'Halloran said: "We welcome the reduction in the number of work-related fatalities last year, the lowest number since 2009.