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Accidents at Work: the statistics

Despite limitations, the current best source of information on the rate of death and injury from occupation in Ireland is the Health & Safety Authority.

The major limitation is that employers are required to report incidents to the Authority only when injuries cause four or more days’ absence from work. There is also an underreporting problem.

In 2011, 54 workplace fatalities were reported to the Authority. In that year there were 6,956 cases of reported injury.

However, the figures compiled for 2010 are more significant because they are not limited to the reportable injuries. In 2010, there were 79,287 cases of occupational injury or illness. A little less than half of these were reportable to the Health & Safety Authority.

These figures do not include injuries sustained in road accidents; even when these happen in the course of employment they are rarely recognised as a work related accident.