Cork the most dangerous county for work fatalities
THE concentration of high-risk industries in Cork, such as fishing and agriculture, has made it the most dangerous county in which to work.
New figures released by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) have revealed how the workplace death rate in Cork accounts for almost one-quarter of the country's total.
There were 12 work-related deaths in the Munster county in 2013 – three times as many as in the two next highest, Dublin and Waterford, each of which had four.
During 2012 there were nine people killed in work-related accidents in Cork – five in the fishing sector, two in construction, one in agriculture and one in public administration.
Last year, there were six work-related deaths in agriculture, four in construction, one in education and one in fishing in the county.
In one case, a 14-year-old boy became trapped between an excavator and a wall on a farm at Lisheen, on the outskirts of Skibbereen in west Cork. Ciaran Casey was taken to Cork University Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
The fishing death occurred when Vincent Wyles (25) was struck by a shackle while onboard a ship.
Serious concerns have been raised by the HSA about the number of work deaths that have occurred in Cork.
There is a high concentration of dairy farms in Cork and research has shown this type of farming is highly pressurised and potentially hazardous.
Speaking about the issue, Brian Higgisson, assistant chief executive of the HSA, said: "We usually analyse fatalities by economic sector, but we cannot ignore the fact that for five of the last six years there have been more fatalities in Cork than in any other county.
"We have a significant presence in the county and we plan to carry out additional inspections this year."