Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Sunday 17 February 2019

Farm fatalities down 40pc, but agriculture still has the most work-related deaths

Margaret Donnelly

Margaret Donnelly

Figures issued by the Health and Safety Authority show a 23pc decline in work related fatalities in 2018.

However, the agricultural sector still accounts for the most work-related deaths of all sectors. 

Figures released by the Health and Safety Authority show that 37 people were killed in work related accidents in 2018, a decline of 23pc on 2017 and the lowest figure since the establishment of the Authority in 1989.

The farming sector, which has consistently been the most dangerous sector in which to work, featured 15 work related deaths last year compared to 25 in 2017, a decline of 40pc. The fatal accident rate of 1.6 deaths per 100,000 workers is also now at an all-time low.

According to Dr. Sharon McGuinness, Chief Executive Officer of the Health and Safety Authority, “I very much welcome the decline in work related fatalities in 2018. The fatality rate of 1.6 deaths per 100,000 workers is particularly significant given it was as high as 6.4 per 100,000 workers in the early 1990s.

"Due to the efforts of employers, employees and key stakeholders, there has been a huge improvement in health and safety standards since then. However, with 37 people losing their lives in work related activity in 2018 there is clearly still more to be done”.

Agriculture accounts for just 6pc of the work force and the fact it accounts for 41pc of total work fatalities is too much, she said.

The next highest sector is construction with five deaths in 2018 (14pc of the total) and both sectors will remain a key priority for the HSA in 2019, she said.

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