Rise in fatalities
AGRICULTURE looks set to move ahead of construction as the countrys most dangerous industry after the first rise in farm fatalities for five years. Accidental fatalities have also reached record levels among the self-employed.
The increase has shocked health and safety officials. Health and Safety Commission chairman, Frank Davies said provisional figures suggested the incidence of fatal injuries would be the highest for at least eight years.
Last year fatal farm accidents claimed 54 lives, a 32% increase on the previous 12 months. Thirty-six deaths involved the self-employed.
HSE chief agricultural inspector Frank Lindsay said a death rate of one person a week from a farm or forestry accident was not acceptable. "Experience is no guarantee of health and safety. What I am convinced we need in this industry is a complete and utter change of culture," he added. *