independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

Farming is still most dangerous occupation in Ireland

spraying a field
Farming is still a dangerous profession.

FARMING remains the country's most dangerous job -- but the total number of workplace deaths for 2013 was the lowest in three years.

Last year, 17 people died in the 'crop and animal production, hunting and related service activities' sector, according to figures from the Health and Safety Authority (HSA). That is the lowest death toll since 2009, when just 10 people died working on farms.

Accidents on Irish farms claimed the lives of 22 people in 2010 and 2011 respectively, while there were 21 recorded fatalities on farms in 2012.

The warm weather that baked the country for much of the summer resulted in longer working hours on farms and greater numbers of people taking to the open country.

However, by September of last year, there had been 10 deaths on farms, which is more or less in line with previous years.

A HSA spokesperson said that farming remains the country's most dangerous job and accounted for almost 40pc of workplace deaths during 2013.

He said that over the past decade almost half of all deaths that have occurred on farms were a result of machinery accidents, while just over one-in-10 deaths were livestock related.

Among those recently killed on Irish farms was Pat Bradley (57), from Mountnugent, Co Cavan, who was crushed by machinery he was using to lift bales on his farm in July.

Mr Bradley had cheated death just three months previously when he was thrown from his tractor and knocked unconscious in a road accident.

MIRACULOUS

In August, Cork farmer Noel Moxley (81) had a miraculous escape when he sustained several broken ribs, a collapsed lung and was left fighting for his life after he was gored by a bull on his farm in Drimoleague in west Cork.

Mr Moxley's son, George, who saved his father's life after raising the alarm, told the Irish Independent the incident had made farmers much more wary of the dangers of the industry.

The second most dangerous industry in the past 12 months was the construction industry, where there were 11 fatalities in 2013, the highest since 2008.

There were four deaths in both the fishing and aquaculture industry and the transportation and storage sector, which were the joint third most dangerous jobs.

In total, 46 people died following workplace accidents in 2013, which is two fewer than last year and eight fewer than 2011, when 54 people died.

Irish Independent

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