Current statistics show that Ireland has finally managed to turn the tide on the statistics which saw Irish fatalities at work ranking amongst the worst in Europe for many years, with work related deaths hitting a record low last year.
In recent years, Ireland has scored poorly in comparisons with other countries in the EU when considering fatal injuries and accidents at work, ranking fifth in 2015. These figures, compiled by Eurostat, demonstrated that Ireland was consistently filing higher figures for deaths at work than most other European countries. However, the most recent records, from 2018, show that work related deaths in Ireland have fallen by 23%, to bring us in line with the EU average.
In each of the years 2008-2014, the rate of fatalities at work in Ireland was above the EU15 average, and the latest European figures on fatality rates, which refer to the year 2015, show a fatality rate of 2.5 per 100,000 workers for Ireland. However, the average across the EU15 at this point was 1.6 per 100,000, and this was the figure recorded in Ireland in 2018.
Which Industries Report Most Fatalities?
The HSA records fatalities that occur in the many different sectors in which people are employed or self employed across Ireland and, statistically, the highest rates are among self employed workers in the Agricultural, Forestry and Fishing sectors. In 2017, 3 employees, 13 self employed workers and 9 family workers were killed at work in this sector and it is noted that of the 13 self employed workers, 12 were in the agriculture industry and one in the fishing industry. However, in 2018, only 15 workrelated deaths occurred in this sector, which is a decline of 40 per cent.
The sector that recorded the second highest number of fatalities at work in 2017 was the Construction Industry, in which 6 people were killed, 3 of which were employees and two classified as non-workers. In 2018, this figure fell to five, but this has been identified as a key priority in 2019, along with the agriculture industry.
What Does The Reduction In Workplace Fatalities Really Mean?
HSA Chief Executive, Dr Sharon McGuinness, explained that the reduction is great news, but is not the end of the story:
“The fatality rate of 1.6 deaths per 100,000 workers is particularly significant given it was as high as 6.4 per 100,000 workers in the early 1990s. Due to the efforts of employers, employees and key stakeholders, there has been a huge improvement since then. However, with 37 people losing their lives in work related activity in 2018, there is clearly still more to be done.”
McGuinness particularly highlights the farming sector, which has shown improvement but still accounts for 41% of the total fatalities at work in Ireland despite employing only 6% of the workforce.
Which Sectors Experience The Highest Rate of Injury?
Data from across many different sectors in Ireland shows that the highest rates of non fatal injury at work in 2017 were seen in the health sector (19.6%), followed closely by the manufacturing sector (18.2). Following this, the wholesale and retail sector accounts for 13.9%, while the transport and storage sector makes up another 10.9%. The highest number of days lost due to injury per person were in the transport sector (766 days per 1000 workers), followed by construction (532 days per 1000 workers). In total, the most recent records show a loss of 1,228,312 days of work due to injury in 2016.
What Is The Future For Work Related Deaths And Injuries In Ireland
Ireland’s economy is thriving, and we hope to see the rates of work related deaths and injuries continuing to fall. Improvements in health and safety legislation and top quality health and safety systems and professionals within organisations make this a likely prospect, and we look forward to a future in which working environments become increasingly safer.
However, while the drop in work related injuries and deaths is excellent news, we are aware that this still leaves many people suffering as a result of incidents that have happened while they are working. Here at S.T. O’Sullivan & Co Solicitors, we work with many clients who have experienced work related injuries, and our expert personal injury solicitors frequently represent their interests in compensation claims.
Compensation For Injuries At Work
If you are injured in an accident at work, you may find that you are eligible to make a claim for compensation. Depending on the type of injury you have sustained, you may be able to seek compensation for physical and mental injury, as well as compensation in respect of any costs you have already incurred and costs that will accrue in the future due to loss of earnings and specialist equipment you may require.
The complex nature of the law around injuries at work means that it is important to seek advice from a solicitor who is experienced in personal injury law. We represent many clients in this situation and will work with you to gain a full understanding of the impact your injury has had on your life. Understanding the process by which a claim for compensation may be made can help when you are in this situation, and you can read on for our quick guide to this.
Claiming Compensation For A Workplace Injury
If you believe that you may be entitled to make a compensation claim for a work related injury, you should consider the following information carefully.
1. If you are injured at work, you should seek medical advice straight away. It is very important to seek medical advice after an injury or accident of any kind, but especially when the accident has occurred at work. You should see a medical professional as soon as you can to establish whether you have sustained any damage and so that your injury is on record in case of any future complications that arise from it.
2. You must report the accident or incident to your manager. Before you can consider making a compensation claim for an accident sustained at work, you must notify your manager or employer in writing that you have had the accident and explain the injuries that you have suffered as a result. You should ask your manager to confirm that he or she has received this notification.
3. You can talk to a personal injury solicitor about your situation. A personal injury solicitor, who is experienced in this type of work, will be able to help you to understand the legal process involved in making a compensation claim and will advise you on whether or not you are likely to be successful. All communications with your workplace can be handled by your solicitor and by your employer’s legal representative, so you need not communicate directly with your employer.
4. With your solicitor, you will build a case for compensation. In order to receive compensation for your injuries, you will need to prove that the injury happened because your workplace was unsafe or did not meet the standards laid out in the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005. This specifies that employers must maintain safe workplaces, including machinery and equipment, and sets out standards of health and safety awareness and training that must be met by all employers and their employees. Legal requirements such as providing protective clothing and equipment wherever necessary, and carrying out comprehensive risk assessments, are an essential responsibility for every employer in Ireland, and you are likely to be able to claim for compensation if these requirements have not been met.
5. Your claim will be passed to The Injuries Board. The Injuries Board is the organisation that will assess your claim before it proceeds to settlement or to court. It is important to note that this will be subject to the Statute of Limitations, which requires that the claim is brought within two years of the ‘date of knowledge’. The date of knowledge is the point at which the person making the claim, or his or her next of kin, became aware of the injury and can identify the party at fault for the accident. This is usually two years from the date of the incident, but also provides protection in such cases where an individual is incapacitated as a result of the injury and is, therefore, not aware of all of the facts at this point.
6. You may be offered a settlement. Many organisations, or their legal representatives, will offer a settlement to avoid going through a court case. However, settlements are often significantly lower than the amount of compensation that may be offered in court. It is very important to consult with your solicitor about the amount of compensation you are offered, and to ensure that this will be sufficient to cover any potential costs in the future as well as those already incurred.
Find Experienced Personal Injury Solicitors in Ennis And Clare
Contact S.T. O’Sullivan & Co Solicitors to discuss your situation and find out whether you could make a personal injury claim for compensation. Simply call into our office in Ennis, Co.Clare, contact us online, or call us today on +353 (065) 6820620. We guarantee to call you back within one business day.