Workplace accidents cost €31m

 

Some €31 million was paid out in compensation for workplace accidents last year, according to the body that assesses claims for personal injuries.

Compensation was awarded in respect of 972 claims for workplace accidents in 2008, with 75 per cent of employer liability awards going to men, according to Injuriesboard.ie

The average compensation award was €32,266, with the highest single award totalling €582,000.

The decline in employment in the economy has resulted in a slow-down in the volume of new workplace accident claims being submitted, according to Patricia Byron, Injuriesboard.ie chief executive.

“In the first ten months of 2009 we have seen three per cent fewer employer liability claims submitted,” she said.

The main causes of workplace accidents last year were slips, trips and falls (44 per cent), lifting/handling (18 per cent), and machinery and defective equipment (16 per cent).

The construction and manufacturing industries accounted for almost half of all workplace injury awards made.

Commenting on the figures, Martin O’Halloran, chief executive of the Health and Safety Authority said “unsurprisingly, the awards made by InjuriesBoard.ie reflect the types of accidents and injuries we see in our inspection activity every day...these accidents are foreseeable and preventable and I urge all employers to ensure they have the appropriate safety, health and welfare measures in place".