Top industry sectors for work-related illness and injury leave

Top 5 Industry Sectors for Work-Related Illness Leave

Work-Related Illness

Minister Pat Breen recently  launched research findings completed by the ESRI and the HSA identifying the top 5 sectors with persistently high risks for work-related illness.  The research tracks experiences over the period 2001 to 2014 using nationally representative surveys of the workforce collected by the CSO.

Top 5 Industry Sectors for Work – Related Illness Leave are:

  1. Health

  2. Construction

  3. Transport and Storage

  4. Manufacturing and Utilities

  5. Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing.

The research tracks experiences over the period 2001 to 2014 using nationally representative surveys of the workforce collected by the CSO.

Some Statistics of Note:

  • In 2014 these five industries accounted for 41% of all employment and 56% of work-related injuries.
  • Between 2008 & 2014 the highest number of total days lost due to work-related injuries occurred within the Health Sector with 92,000/year or 524 days lost per 1,000 workers.
  • The second highest sector was Transport with 82,000/year or 507 days lost per 1,000 workers.
  • Construction sector workers working weeks of between 40-49 hours had a greater likelihood of injury per hour worked.
  • Between 2008 & 2014 the Transport sector had the highest number of days lost per worker due to work-related injury with 766 days lost per 1,000 workers.
  • Part-time workers in the Agriculture sector were found to have a greater risk of work-related illness per hour worked than even those who were working long hours. This part-time effect was also found in the Transport sector.
  • Injury rates in the Agriculture, Construction and industry sectors fell during the recession (2008-2011) compared to the boom (2001-2007). There is also some evidence of these rates increasing in the early recovery period, but this trend is as yet inconclusive.
  • Between 2008 and 2011 (Recession times) the Injury rates in the Agriculture, Construction and Industry sectors all fell when compared to the 2001 & 2007 (boom times). Though yet inconclusive it does seem evident that these rates have increased in the early recovery period.

Pat Breen, TD, Minister of State with special responsibility for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, commented:

“…The research published today will greatly assist in identifying employees across a range of sectors who might be at risk of workplace related injury or illness. This will enable businesses to improve health and safety standards in the workplace and to reduce staff absences which also ultimately affect the productivity and growth of a business…”

Helen Russell, Research Professor at the ESRI, commented:

“The recovery is leading to strong employment growth which is to be welcomed. However, employment growth can bring with it increased risks to employee health and safety such as longer working hours and an influx new inexperienced workers. Our research shows that new recruits in construction, health, agriculture and transport have a significantly higher risk of occupational injury. Hence, there is need for supervision, training, and support to prevent rising injury and illness rates.”

Source: For a more detailed breakdown please visit ESRI

Chris Mee Group is an industry leader in the areas of Behaviour Based Safety (BBS) and Observational Based Safety programmes.  For more details please visit BBS