MORE than ten per cent of work place accidents last year took place in Donegal according to new figures released by the Health and Safety Authority.
According to the HSA, six of the 55 people who died in work place accidents were from Donegal.
The statistics show that fatalities in the agriculture sector increased by a shocking 87 per cent last year, with 30 people killed compared with 16 in 2013. 2014 was the fifth year in a row that the agriculture sector recorded the highest number of fatalities.
Martin O’Halloran, CEO of the HSA, said that it was a particularly horrific year for the Agriculture sector. “The number of fatal accidents that occurred on farms last year was the highest in over 20 years. In May of 2014 alone there were five people killed. It is particularly tragic that five children lost their lives on Irish farms last year.”
A total of 54 per cent of all fatalities involved vehicles in the workplace. There were also increases in fatalities in manufacturing and the administrative and support services sectors.
Of the six deaths in Donegal, the first was in January last year when a 21 year old man died in a factory accident. In April, a 78 year old male died in the farming/animal breeding environment as did an 84 year-old man in May. In July a 56 year old male died at sea while in November, two 51 year old men died in a farming accident.
Speaking about the Authority’s plans for 2015, Mr O’Halloran said that there are a number of key areas that will be targeted.
“We do note that each year many fatal accidents involve self-employed persons, so we will continue to try to provide assistance and support to small business owners with an emphasis on safety around vehicles. We will also further our collaboration with other agencies and representative bodies that have an interest in workplace health and safety.”