THERE were 24 deaths in agriculture in 2017, making it the eighth year in a row that this sector recorded the highest number of work-related fatalities.
The Health and Safety Authority this week released figures for the number of work-related fatal accidents reported during 2017. There were 47 fatal accidents last year compared to 46 in 2016.
According to the HSA figures, elderly farmers most likely to be involved in fatal work related accidents; there were 14 men over 65 killed in the agriculture sector, many of them working alone at the time of the accident.
HSA chief executive, Martin O’Halloran, says that a collective effort is required to reduce the high level of farm accidents: ‘Everyone involved in farming must aim to make whatever changes are necessary to work practices to stop these accidents occurring each year. That means safety must be paramount when carrying out any work, especially with tractors or farm machinery.
‘Finding supports for elderly farmers or farmers working alone is something that needs to be addressed.’
There was one child fatality in the agriculture sector. The construction and transport sectors had the next highest number of fatalities with six each.
Dublin, Cork and Mayo had the highest number of fatalities in 2017, with six each.