THE NUMBER of people who died in Irish workplaces in 2012 was down by 13 per cent when compared to the previous year, new figures published this morning show.
Data compiled by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) indicates that 47 people died in workplaces in 2012, down from 54 in 2011.
The deaths included a two-year-old who drowned in a pool of water after gaining access to an unfinished housing estate, and a 12-year-old who was driving a tractor when it overturned and trapped him beneath it.
Farming remains the profession with the highest number of fatalities; 21 people died in farm accidents last year, compared to 22 in the previous year.
The biggest reduction in deaths was in the transportation and storage sector, which accounted only for one death in 2012, compared to seven in 2011.
The number of fatalities rose in the construction sector, from six to eight. Four people died in wholesale, retail or during the repair of motor vehicles, up from two in 2011.
Deaths in the fishing and aquaculture industry rose from five to seven. That total includes the five men who died on the Tit Bonhomme when it sank off the coast of Cork in January.
HSA chief executive Martin O’Halloran said the body had made some progress in creating a culture of safe farming.
“Farms are family homes as well as workplaces so farmers need to realise that safe farming is about protecting themselves, their family and their businesses,” he said.
The 47 fatalities for 2012 included three Egyptian nationals – the men who died on the Tit Bonhomme – and three Polish nationals.
The agency is currently midway through a five-year programme to reduce work related accidents and ill-health.