New research from the ESRI and the Health and Safety Authority launched yesterday (19 April) by Minister Pat Breen looks at work-related injuries and illness in five sectors with persistently high risks: health, construction, transport and storage, industry (manufacturing and utilities), and agriculture, forestry and fishing. These five sectors account for 41 per cent of employment and 56 per cent of work-related injury in 2014. The research tracks experiences over the period 2001 to 2014 using nationally representative surveys of the workforce collected by the CSO.

Key findings from this research:

  • Injury rates in the agriculture, construction and industry sectors fell during the recession (2008-2011) compared to the boom (2001-2007).
  • The rate of fatalities is highest in the agriculture, forestry and fishing sector.The number of fatalities increased from 129 in the 2001-2007 period to 151 in the 2008-2014 period.
  • The health sector had the highest total number of days lost due to work-related injury.The highest number of total days lost due to work-related injury in the 2008–2014 period occurred in the health sector (92,000 days per year) followed by the transport sector (82,000 days per year).
  • The transport sector had the highest number of days lost per worker due to work-related injury. Adjusting for the numbers employed in each sector we find that in the 2008-14 period, the highest annual average number of days lost to injury per 1,000 workers occurred in the transport sector (766) followed by construction (532), agriculture (413), health (329) and industry (282). The figure for all other sectors was 216 days per 1000 workers.
  • The health sector had the highest number of days lost per worker due to work-related illness.In this sector, 524 days were lost per 1,000 workers. This was followed by transport (507), agriculture, forestry and fishing (358), industry (351) and was lowest in construction (313).
  • Night workers, shift workers and new recruits had a higher risk of injury.In all sectors examined except construction, night workers and shift workers had a higher risk of injury compared to workers not working these hours. In all five sectors, new recruits were more likely to experience an injury compared to those with longer tenures, on a full-year equivalence basis.
  • Longer working weeks are associated with injury.Construction sector workers working between 40 and 49 hours a week faced a greater likelihood of injury per hour worked, after adjusting for worker and job characteristics.
  • Part-time workers are also at higher risk of injury.In the agriculture sector, while those working long hours had the highest risks of injury overall, part-time workers were found to face a greater risk of work-related illness per hour worked. This part-time effect was also found in the transport sector.

The five reports are available to download at the links below.


Read the Press Release in full.