Personal injuries at work cost Irish employers €22.5 million in 2011, according to figures recently released by InjuriesBoard.ie.
8.4% of all Irish personal injury compensation awards last year were for accidents that occurred in the workplace. Whilst that figure does compare favourably with 2010 when 11% of awards were for work-related injuries, it is thought the decrease was due to increased unemployment rather than better safety measures.
The report also contained some other interesting findings. Men appear to be more accident-prone at work, accounting for 70% of all compensation awards. On average, men received slightly higher awards than their female counterparts – €27,246 for men and €26,771 for women.
32.4% of workplace accident awards went to people in the 25 to 34 age bracket, whilst those aged between 18 and 24 accounted for just 12.5% of awards.
For some inexplicable reason, Thursday turned out to be the most dangerous workday. Again for reasons unknown, more workplace accidents took place in November 2011 than any other month that year. April was deemed the safest month, but that could be explained by the two four day weekends that occurred during the month last year.
The bulk of the claims were for accidents in manufacturing and production industries. Defective equipment, handling of goods and slips, trips and falls being the most common accidents.
The chief executive of InjuriesBoard.ie, Patricia Byron, said she continued to be surprised by the amount of claims for accidents that could easily have been avoided if basic health and safety measures were implemented in the workplace.