44 people were killed in Irish workplaces in 2016

The HSA says there was a 21% reduction in workplace deaths reported compared to 2015

HSA, workplace, deaths, accident, health, safety

Farm-related deaths are still high, with 21 reported in 2016. File photo. Picture by Nick Ansell PA Archive/PA Images

44 people were killed in workplace accidents in 2016 - a drop of more than 20% compared to 2015.

However farm-related deaths are still high, with 21 reported in 2016 comparing to 18 the year before.

According to the figures released by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) today, Cork had the highest number of fatalities with eight reported deaths.

Around two-thirds (30) of the work-related deaths involved men between 25 and 65, while nine men aged over 65 were killed in the agriculture sector.

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.”

On the subject of the high accident rate in the agriculture sector, Mr O'Halloran added: "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.”