The number of people who died in workplace accidents last year fell by 23%, according to figures issued by the Health and Safety Authority.

Thirty-seven people lost their lives in work-related accidents in 2018, 11 less than the year before.

The total number of fatalities were at the lowest level since the formation of the HSA in 1989.

The highest numbers of deaths were in the agriculture and construction sectors.

Farm fatalities remain the highest at 15 but were down by 40% on the 2017 figure

The HSA says farmers are nine times more likely to be killed at work than any other profession.

Five deaths were recorded in the construction sector.

HSA Chief Executive Dr Sharon McGuinness said the reduction in the number of work related fatalities is a result of efforts by all the stakeholders in businesses and health and safety.

She said she was particularly pleased to see the reduction in the figures of those killed on farms.

However farming remains the most dangerous sector to work in, with people nine times more likely to die in a farm related accident.

Dr McGuinness said farming had its own unique challenges such as older farmers and people who often worked on their own.

Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, she said there had been a recognition in recent years that people must separate their work and home life in order to keep safe, adding that there had been a huge reduction in the number of children killed on farms.