THE NUMBER OF FARM deaths in Ireland last year rose to 25, compared with 11 the year before, making farms the most dangerous workplaces in the country.
The number of farm safety inspections carried out by the Health and Safety Authority is expected to more than double this year, according to the Irish Times, following the increase.
The HSA told RTÉ that it had created a dedicated inspectorate for agriculture and tacking the sector’s fatality rate was a priority.
A breakdown of the figure shows that 10 people died as a result of accidents with machinery or vehicles, while four people died falling from heights. Three were killed by animals. Cork recorded the largest single-county figure for farm deaths, with three people dying on farms in the county last year.
New farm safety guidelines were published by the HSA during the National Ploughing Championships earlier this year. By law, a farmer is required to prepare a safety statement outlining hazards and risks on the farm, and specifying how to control those risks.
Overall, 47 people died in workplace-related accidents – four more people last year than in 2009.
The Department of Justice says the government has given its approval for the preparation of a new bill which would introduce corporate liability for workplace deaths, and deaths of consumers resulting from goods or services.