independent

Wednesday 23 April 2014

Farmers urged to help curb deaths in the workplace

Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney said there has been a change in attitude, but the figure of 16 deaths was still too high.
Minister for Agriculture Simon Coveney said there has been a change in attitude, but the figure of 16 deaths was still too high.

THE Agriculture Minister says more farmers must change their attitude towards safety in order to curb the number of work-related deaths in the sector.

A Health and Safety Authority (HSA) report found that there were 16 farm-related deaths in 2013, four of whom were children.

Simon Coveney said that while farmers' attitudes towards health and safety were changing, this is happening too slowly.

While the 2013 figure represents a decrease on the 21 fatalities seen in the previous year, farm-related deaths still account for almost one-third of all work-related deaths in 2013.

Mr Coveney told the Irish Independent: "We are seeing a change in attitude. You see that in terms of the slight improvement in the figures. But 16 fatalities -- we can't possibly accept those and the tragedy that goes with them."

He said the Department of Agriculture was continuing its work with a variety of farming bodies, the HSA and other stakeholders on campaigns aimed to push the numbers down further.

Chief Executive of HSA, Martin O'Halloran, called on farmers to make 2014 "the safest year on farms ever recorded".

There were a total of 46 work-related fatalities last year.

Irish Independent

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