The Chief Executive of the HSA has issued a warning to employers after it was revealed that workplace slip and fall injury compensation cost industry more than €22 million in 2012.
The warning to employers “to take some time this week to consider the safety systems they have in place and make sure not to leave anything to chance” came in a statement made by Martin O´Halloran – Chief Executive of the Health and Safety Authority – after it was revealed that a third of all accepted Injury Board assessments relating to accidents at work were attributable to workplace slip and fall injury compensation.
Mr O´Halloran was commenting on figures released by the Injuries Board to coincide with European Week for Safety and Health at Work which showed that 807 assessments of injury compensation for accidents at work were accepted in 2012 amounting to more than €22 million (1), and he referred to a health and safety study which indicated that employees take less care at work because of the employer´s responsibility to prevent accidents
It was also revealed that a quarter of all workplaces inspected by the Health and Safety Authority last year had not conducted a risk assessment to identify the dangers of slips and falls in the workplace, and that two of the highest accepted assessments of work place slip and fall injury compensation concerned avoidable fatal accidents.
Other statistics released by the Injuries Board to coincide with the European Week for Safety and Health at Work included:
· The average assessment of injury compensation for an accident at work was €27,286.
· Men are twice as likely to sustain a workplace injury as women.
· Almost one-in-three assessments were for workers in the 25 to 34 age group
· One-in-five of the accepted assessments of workplace slip and fall injury compensation were for injuries which resulted in the plaintiff taking at least one month to recover.
Mr O’Halloran concluded by saying “Effective management of workplace safety and health not only protects workers from injury and ill-health, but also has the potential to save businesses thousands of Euros. Proper management of workplace safety and health contributes to long-term commercial success and profitability”.
(1) In 2012, less than one-third of the applications for assessment submitted to the Injuries Board were resolved through the Injuries Board process – indicating that the number of workplace slip and fall injury compensation claims last year could have been as high as 2,500.