There were 44 people killed in workplaces in 2016 across the country representing a 21 per cent reduction of the 56 reported in 2015, according to figures released by the Health and Safety Authority this week. In Mayo there were two people killed in workplaces according to the report, both in the agricultural sector.
Nationally the number of deaths on farms was the highest sector with 21 of the 44 deaths occurring in an agricultural setting. Martin O’Halloran, chief executive of the HSA, said: “We welcome the reduction in the number of work-related fatalities last year, the lowest number since 2009. It is especially important that as the numbers at work increase, accident rates are moving in the opposite direction. Nevertheless we must not forget the many families that experienced devastation and tragedy in 2016. It was a time when they lost loved ones due to events that should have been prevented.”
Addressing the continued high accident rate in the agriculture sector, Martin O’Halloran said: “The vast majority of sectors experienced a reduction in fatalities last year. However, it is clear that there is a systemic problem with safety on our farms. For the last seven years the agriculture sector has recorded the highest number of fatalities. Safety must become an integral part of farming culture, rather than an afterthought. Our farm safety walks and knowledge transfer groups are designed to effect long-term behavioural change and it is only through this type of transformation that we will see a significant reduction in farm deaths.”