Slips, trips and falls were by far the main cause of public liability accidents in Ireland in 2013, according to recent figures from the Irish Injuries Board. Over 1,700 public liability awards were made during the year, with total compensation awarded amounting to €44 million.
The average public liability award rose year on year by almost 11% to €25,120. In addition, over a two year period, the number of awards of over €100,000 increased from two in 2011 to 18 in 2013. In previous years, females accounted for a far higher proportion of public liability awards made than men. This trend continued in 2013, with females now accounting for 71.4% of total awards made.
Slips, trips and falls accounted for over two-thirds of personal injuries in public places and included accidents on wet floors/surfaces, uneven/broken pavements, drains and manholes.
The resulting injuries included fractures, soft tissue injuries, bruises, cuts and lacerations. Other accidents included burns and scalds (2.5% of awards) and accidents involving falling/flying objects (5%).
Over 40 awards were made for accidents which occurred in supermarkets, including injuries from trolleys and baskets, while almost 100 accidents occurred in leisure type facilities such as sports clubs/gyms, cinemas and hairdressers.
“We can see again from the findings that slips, trips and falls remain the main cause of public liability accidents, with very few complex, high value claims,” commented Patricia Byron, Chief Executive of the Injuries Board.
“I encourage all those with responsibility for public areas to invest in basic prevention,” she added. “On the basis of our claims analysis, it is clear that by simply maintaining public pathways/floor surfaces and by carefully securing loose goods, furniture etc, many of these claims could be avoided or minimised. Prevention must become the key.”
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