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Tractors were involved in six workplace deaths last year. Shutterstock/Aleksandar Malivuk

39 people died in workplace incidents last year, with 17 deaths caused by vehicles

The HSA launched it annual report for 2018 today.

A TOTAL OF 39 people died from workplace accidents last year, with 17 of those as a result of vehicles.

Last year saw a drop of almost 20% in terms of workplace deaths when compared to 2017, when 48 people died, according to the annual report of the Health and Safety Authority (HSA). 

The farming sector had the biggest share of deaths, with 15 people dying in work-related incidents last year. Five people died while working in construction. 

Tractors were involved in the deaths of six people, while cars, refuse trucks and forklifts were also involved in fatalities.

The HSA also finished 15 prosecutions last year, resulting in total fines of €705,972.

Junior Minister for Trade Pat Breen welcomed the reduction in deaths, but said that each life lost caused great trauma and personal suffering for families every year

“We should remember that any improvement in numbers provides little comfort to the family, friends and colleagues of the dozens of Irish people whose lives were cut short this year while doing their job,” he said. 

HSA CEO Dr Sharon McGuinness warned that vehicles were the greatest threat to people in the Irish workplace. 

“Whether it’s a farmer driving a tractor in a yard, or a truck driver delivering a load, across all sectors, incidents involving vehicles accounted for almost half – or 44% – of all deaths last year,” she said.

The worrying trend is continuing with six deaths provisionally recorded so far this year in the transportation sector.

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