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Farming is most dangerous job as workplace deaths increase

More than one-third of those killed were working on farms, figures from the Health and Safety Authority show.

Image: LARRY MACDOUGAL/The Canadian Press/Press Association Images

THERE WAS A significant rise in the number of people killed by accidents in the workplace last year,  with by far the largest number of accidents happening on farms.

New statistics from the Health and Safety Authority show a 15 per cent increase in deaths from workplace injuries, with 55 people killed in 2011 against 48 the previous year.

More than one-third of those were fatally injured while working on farms. Twenty-two of the deaths happened among people working in crop and animal production.

The HSA has recently launched a high-profile advertising campaign, urging farmers not to take risks while working and to be careful around high-powered machinery.

Martin O’Halloran, CEO of the safety body, said: “This is the second year in a row that the total number of workplace fatalities has increased. The fact is that behind these statistics there are human tragedies, lives lost and families ruined.”

The trucking and warehousing industries accounted for the next largest number of deaths, with eight people killed in Irish workplaces.

Six people were fatally injured on construction sites, and five in the fishing industry.

Among the safest sectors were financial, administration, education and IT services, in which there were no deaths.

Despite this increase, the rate of deaths in the workplace has fallen gradually since 2002, when it was roughly three in every 100,000 workers.

About the author:

Michael Freeman

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