To mark this year’s European Week for Safety and Health at Work the Irish Injuries Board recently published an interesting analysis of the workplace accident claims it received in 2012, and warned businesses of the consequences of cutting corners when it comes to the health and safety of their employees.
The Irish Injuries Board is an independent Irish Government body that makes statutory personal injury awards in respect of motor, employer and public liability accidents.
Its most recent analysis reveals that the highest award for a work related accident during 2012 amounted to €332,143. In total, the Injuries Board settled 807 work related injury claims during the year, and awarded compensation amounting to €22 million. This was a slight decrease over the previous year, when there were 830 awards made, totalling €22.5 million in compensation.
The average award for a workplace accident in 2012 was €27,286. Men apparently received slightly higher awards than women - €27,657 was the average award for men compared to €26,456 for women.
Gender differences were also present in the occurrence of injuries, with men being twice as likely as women to be injured at work. In total, men accounted for just under 70% of awards made by the Board but only 54% of the workforce, whereas women accounted for 46% of the workforce but just over 30% of the awards made.
Other key statistics include:
CEO of the Injuries Board, Patricia Byron, highlighted how important it was for employers to ensure the health and safety of their workers, pointing out that proper safety precautions can be the difference between life and death in some cases.
“Over the past three years we have experienced a decline in the number of awards for accidents in the workplace but the reality is that this decline is in line with reduced numbers in employment so workplace safety is still firmly on the agenda,” she explained.
She called on employers to lead the way on risk management through robust health and safety initiatives, and warned that employees also need to play their part through awareness of workplace safety procedures.
Unfortunately, claims for injuries at work have continued to flood in in 2013.
According to a separate, mid-year analysis of all types of personal injury claims received by the Injuries Board, there were 5,286 personal injury claimants during the first six months of 2013 - of which 8.1% related to workplace accidents. Road traffic accidents continued to account for the majority of claims and represented over three quarters (75.5%) of awards, while 16.4% of awards were for accidents in public places.
In total, €118 million was awarded to personal injury claimants during the first six months of the year - up 8.3%. This compensation was shared out among 5,286 claimants, which is apparently a 2% rise over the number of awards made during the first half of 2012.
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