Work related accidents claimed the lives of 55 people last year, representing a 17% increase on the 47 reported in 2013.
Figures released by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) show fatalities in the agriculture sector increased by 87% in 2014, with 30 people killed [two in Clare]compared to 16 in 2013. For the fifth year running this sector has recorded the highest number of fatalities, representing roughly 55% of all work related deaths last year.
Reflecting on what he desccribed as “a particularly horrific year for the agriculture sector”, Martin O’Halloran, CEO of the HSA, said, “The number of fatal accidents that occurred on farms last year was the highest in over 20 years. In May of 2014 alone there were five people killed. It is particularly tragic that five children lost their lives on Irish farms last year.”
According to Mr O’Halloran, last year had the highest total number of workplace fatalities since 2008.
“We are concerned at what is a significant increase in workplace fatalities and what is particularly alarming is that 54% of fatalities involved vehicles in the workplace. This is up 13% from the previous 5 year average for 2009 to 2013 of 41%. However if we exclude agriculture, the overall fatal accident trend is downwards,” Mr O’Halloran said.
During 2014 there were reductions in fatalities in the following sectors, construction (from 11 down to 8); fishing (5 down to 1) and transportation and storage (4 down to 3).
Aside from agriculture, there were increases in fatalities in manufacturing (from 1 up to 3) and the administrative and support services sectors (0 to 2).