Over €1 million in compensation was paid out as a result of personal injury workplace claims in 2011, according to new figures.
To mark ‘World Day for Health and Safety at Work’ yesterday, InjuriesBoard.ie published a review of workplace accidents in 2011, which confirmed that compensation worth €22.5 million was awarded in respect of 830 claims nationally.
This is a slight decrease on 2010’s figures, which depicted a payout of €25.1 million for 889 incidents.
However, Galway is bucking the national tend with an increase in the amount paid in compensation from €727,813 for 29 incidents in 2010 to €1,049,984 in respect of 32 personal workplace injury workplace claims.
Accidents in the workplace accounted for 8.4 per cent of all personal injury awards in 2011, compared to 11 per cent of all awards in 2010.
Patricia Byron, Chief Executive of InjuriesBoard.ie, said that the decrease in the number of claims for workplace accidents last year reflects the reduced numbers in employment during the period.
“While our figures point to a downward trend in the number of claims for workplace accidents, the main driver for this is a contracting workforce rather than any notable advances in workplace health and safety programmes. We understand that businesses today are under constant pressure to drive efficiencies, often operating with scarce resources, but cutting corners on employee safety is a cut too far.”
She continued to say that manufacturing and production sectors accounted for the majority of claims last year with slips, trips and falls, defective equipment and poor lifting and handling of goods the most common accidents.
“We are continually surprised by the volume of such foreseeable and preventable claims. The Injuries Board model has significantly driven down the cost of processing claims in recent years but the simple fact remains that its far more cost effective to prevent an accident happening in the first place than to deal with the consequences afterwards,” concluded Ms Byron.
Key findings of the review include:
– Men are twice as likely as women to receive an award for a workplace accident, accounting for 70 per cent of all awards, versus 30 per cent of awards to women. However, the number of women receiving awards has increased by five per cent, due to their increased presence in the workforce during the recession.
– Men received an average compensation award of €27,246 compared to €26,771 for women.
– Those in the 25 to 34 age group received one in three awards (32.4 per cent), accounting for the largest proportion of workplace claims. Meanwhile, those aged 35 to 44 are twice as likely (24.6 per cent) to receive an award for a workplace accident than those aged 18 to 24 (12.5 per cent).
– Thursday is deemed the most dangerous workday while Sunday is considered the safest due to the smaller proportion of people in the workplace at weekends.
– November is the most dangerous month for workplace accidents while April is the safest.
– Limerick, Carlow, Kildare, Waterford and Louth are the counties with the highest number of awards for workplace accidents per head of population.
– Counties Roscommon, Cavan, Mayo, Donegal and Laois recorded the lowest number of claims per head of population.
– Leitrim had the highest average award value per county at €46,578, while Laois recorded the lowest at €18,438.