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27 April 2012

Workplace Health and Safety must remain a priority during tough economic climate, warns

2011 Review of Workplace Accidents

  • €22.5million compensation awarded for 830 workplace accidents
  • Thursday is most dangerous workday
  • Limerick has highest number of claims and Roscommon has lowest

To mark 'World Day for Health & Safety at Work' tomorrow, today (Friday, 27th April 2012) published a review of workplace accidents in 2011 that shows compensation totalling €22.5million (2010: €25.1million) was awarded in respect of 830 (2010: 889 awards) personal injury workplace claims.

Accidents in the workplace accounted for 8.4% of all personal injury awards in 2011, compared to 11% of all awards in 2010. The decrease in the number of claims for workplace accidents last year reflects the reduced numbers in employment during the period.

Patricia Byron, Chief Executive of, said: "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."

"The 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% of all awards (2010: 75%) versus 30% of awards to women (2010: 25%). However, the number of women receiving awards has increased by 5% due to their increased presence in the workforce during the recession.
  • Men received an average compensation award of €27,246 (2010: €28,924) compared to €26,771 (2010: €25,876) for women.
  • Those in the 25-34 age group received one in three awards (32.4%) accounting for the largest proportion of workplace claims. Meanwhile, those aged 35-44 are twice as likely (24.6%) to receive an award for a workplace accident than those aged 18-24 (12.5%).
  • 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 (See Table 1 and Table 3 for full regional breakdown).
  • Counties Roscommon, Cavan, Mayo, Donegal and Laois recorded the lowest number of claims per head of population (See Table 2 and Table 3 for full regional breakdown).
  • Leitrim had the highest average award value per county at €46,578 while Laois recorded the lowest at €18,438 (See Table 4 for full regional breakdown of award values).

Ends, Date: 27 April 2012

For further information:

Murray Consultants Limited
Avril Collins / Diarmaid Walsh
Tel: 01 498 0340 or 086 396 4368 (Avril)

Notes to editors

About is an independent statutory body, which assesses the amount of compensation due to a person who has suffered a personal injury.

Claims can be made direct via:

  • Phone: Lo-Call helpline - 1890 829 121 between 8am and 8pm from Monday to Friday
  • Online at , 24 hours per day, every day
  • By Post to:, P.O. Box 8, Clonakilty, County Cork.

By delivering awards four times faster and with a low administration charge, the model has delivered direct and indirect savings of hundreds of millions to the economy. The Board's services are delivered at no cost to the Exchequer as it is funded through fees charged, by and large, to insurers.

Table 1: Top 5 Counties for Workplace Accidents Per Head of Population

 No. of Awards Per County% of Awards Per County% of Population (CSO)Variance

Table 2: Bottom 5 Counties for Workplace Accidents Per Head of Population

 No. of Awards Per County% of Awards Per County% of Population (CSO)Variance

Table 3: Full Regional Breakdown of Awards Per County (Ranked)

 No. of Awards Per County% of Awards Per County% of Population in County (CSO)Variance

Table 4: Value of Awards Per County 2011 (vs. 2010) in Alphabetical Order

CountyNo. of Awards
Average Award Per County
Total Compensation Per County
Carlow14 (12)€35,272 (€22,785)€493,808 (€273,420)
Cavan5 (16)€45,097 (€40,745)€225,485 (€651,912)
Clare14 (13)€35,035 (€29,168)€490,490 (€379,188)
Cork88 (110)€23,789 (€27,585)€2,093,432 (€3,034,306)
Donegal15 (9)€28,789 (€35,735)€431,835 (€321,616)
Dublin258 (267)€23,355 (€24,131)€6,025,590 (€6,442,968)
Galway32 (29)€32,812 (€25,097)€1,049,984 (€727,813)
Kerry22 (30)€33,931 (€32,945)€746,482 (€988,355)
Kildare52 (45)€25,523 (€30,283)€1,327,196 (€1,362,718)
Kilkenny13 (9)€28,151 (€29,794)€365,963 (€265,477)
Laois9 (10)€18,438 (€26,337)€165,942 (€263,374)
Leitrim4 (4)€46,578 (€37,523)€186,312 (€150,091)
Limerick53 (72)€26,066 (€29,255)€1,381,498 (€2,106,348)
Longford6 (16)€21,134 (€28,693)€126,804 (€459,089)
Louth29 (28)€43,624 (€29,337)€1,265,096 (€821,432)
Mayo10 (18)€31,543 (€39,189)€315,430 (€705,401)
Meath35 (49)€31,687 (€32,909)€1,109,045 (€1,612,517)
Monaghan7 (10)€39,019 (€34,083)€273,133 (€340,829)
Offaly16 (12)€32,605 (€52,704)€521,680 (€632,445)
Roscommon3 (5)€46,064 (€22,991)€138,192 (€114,956)
Sligo8 (6)€26,197 (€27,881)€209,576 (€167,286)
Tipperary36 (36)€25,812 (€29,115)€929,232 (€1,048,126)
Waterford27 (19)€30,818 (€30,805)€832,086 (€585,297)
Westmeath19 (11)€24,818 (€32,929)€471,542 (€362,223)
Wexford18 (15)€28,394 (€29,022)€511,092 (€435,325)
Wicklow21 (13)€22,363 (€24,388)€469,623 (€317,047)