Northern Ireland

Seven NI farm accident deaths in 2018

Tractor fallen into ditch Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Many of the fatal accidents involve farm machinery

Seven people died in farm accidents in Northern Ireland in 2018, according to the Health and Safety Executive.

Three of the fatalities involved livestock, and two people died in machinery accidents.

One death was caused by a fall or falling objects and the final death was the result of an unspecified incident.

The total number of people who died in farm accidents in Northern Ireland between 2014 and 2018 was 34.

The number of deaths in 2018 was unchanged from 2017 when four people died in accidents involving machinery, and three deaths involved livestock.

Northern Ireland farm deaths

Source: HSENI

The worst period for farm deaths over the five-year period was 2014, when 10 people died.

Accidents involving equipment were the biggest cause of farm deaths, with 12 fatalities in the five-year period.

The next most common cause was livestock, with 11 deaths.

Accidents involving slurry resulted in two deaths, one in 2014 and the other in 2016.

'One death is one too many'

Robert Kidd, chief executive of the Health and Safety Executive NI, told BBC News NI that many farm accidents are thought to go unreported.

"We believe the reason many don't report is because farmers are self employed, if they report they will bring themselves under the notice of the health and safety inspectors".

"They will have more inspection work and maybe be under more criticism."

Mr Kidd added: "The figures we rely on are unfortunately the farm fatalities and one death is one too many."

He said that Health and Safety NI will be at the Balmoral show this year offering farmers help and advice in relation to farm safety.

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