Thursday 17 January 2019

Health sector workers most likely to be off work due to work-related illness

Agricultural sector experiences most workplace fatalities Newsdesk Newsdesk

Workers in the the health sector are most likely be be off due to work-related illness, new figures have shown.

The new research from the ERSI looks at work-related injuries and illness in five sectors with persistently high risks.

The sectors examined during the period 2001-2014 were health, construction, transport, industry and agriculture.

These five sectors account for 41pc of employment but 56pc of work-related injury.

Workers in the agricultural sector are most likely to experience a workplace fatality. The number of fatalities increased from 129 in the 2001-2007 period to 151 in the 2008-2014 period.

Workplace fatalities in the construction sector fell by over a half during the recession, reflecting the collapse in activity in the sector.

There were 104 workplace fatalities in the construction sector between 2001 and 2007 compared with 49 between 2008 and 2014.

Health workers had the highest total number of days lost due to work-related injury at 92,000 days per year between 2008 and 2014, followed by the transport sector with 82,000 days per year.

However on a like-for-like basis, transport workers have the highest amount of days lost at 766 per thousand workers compared with 329 in health.

Workplace illness also cost the health sector 524 days per thousand workers compared with 507 in transport, 358 in agriculture, 351 in industry and 313 in construction.

The research also found that night workers, shift workers and new recruits had an increased risk of workplace injury.

Martin O’ Halloran, Chief Executive Officer of the Health and Safety Authority stated:

"This is a valuable body of research, it qualifies and quantifies and moves us from believing to knowing. It confirms to us that we need to have a greater focus on health and that our overall strategic direction in the area of workplace health is correct.

"This research will also be very useful in relation to policy formulation and risk profiling workplaces for inspection purposes."

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