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Health and Safety Authority says three quarters of such deaths involved people engaged in farming and construction work 
There have been 26 recorded workplace fatalities this year, according to provisional figures released by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA), with three quarters of those who died engaged in either farming or construction. 
The figure is down by almost a third on last year’s total and is the lowest recorded by the HSA since its establishment in 1989. 
However, the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) said the fact that 12 people had died while working in agriculture highlighted that there was much still to be done in relation to the issue of safety. 
In addition to the 12 who died while farming, there were seven fatalities in the course of construction work. 
The remaining deaths occurred across a range of sectors including defence, water supply and sewage, transportation and storage as well as wholesale and retail trade. There were no deaths reported this year in manufacturing, a sector in which five fatalities were recorded last year. 
The most commonly listed cause of death was falling from a height, which was mentioned in nine instances, followed by losing control of a vehicle or attachment, which was found to have contributed to seven fatalities. In a further five cases the victim was reported to have been struck by a heavy object or load. 
Males accounted for 25 of the 26 deaths, while the youngest victim was aged in their teens. Some 18 of the 26 were aged over 55 despite this age cohort only accounting for around a fifth of those in employment. 
Dublin, Galway and Wexford were the counties worst affected with three fatalities in each. 
The HSA said investigations are continuing in a number of cases and that the overall figure may rise slightly when its final report for the year is compiled. 
HSA interim chief executive Mark Cullen said: “It is positive to see such a substantial decline in work-related fatalities in 2022. However, our view is that every work-related death is preventable and vigilance around health and safety in Irish workplaces is still imperative.” 
A spokesman for the IFA said “everybody in the farming sector continues to work to raise awareness about farm safety and the dangers associated with farming” and that the number of fatalities showed there is more work to be done. 
The trade union Connect said figures for workplace accidents were often underestimated due to what it described as “bogus self-employment”. 
In cases where incidents were recorded this could, in turn, lead to workers or their families not receiving appropriate payments or compensation, it said. The union said it was continuing to push for a sector “that is injury free, can report zero fatalities each and every year and where, in the worst of circumstances workers receive their very basic of entitlements”. 
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