Friday 15 December 2017

€3.39m compo paid to injured council workers since 2012

Jim O'Callaghan
Jim O'Callaghan

Compensation payments to Dublin City Council employees for work injuries totalled nearly €3.4m in only three years.

Almost 200 council workers lodged claims for being jabbed with needles and suffering back, limb and other injuries between 2012 and 2014.

Settlements were reached with 125 workers at a cost to the council of €3,397,216, an average of €27,000 for each claimant.

Costs included legal and other fees and the compensation payouts.

The figures were disclosed to Dublin city councillor Jim O'Callaghan of Fianna Fail, who requested information on the full costs of the payouts.

The number of personal injury compensation cases taken by council staff increased in each of the three years. The highest number, 71, was last year.

"Dublin must review its measures and urgently introduce safer systems of work for its employees," said Mr O'Callaghan.

"The rise in needle-stick injuries sustained is particularly worrying and brings focus on the provision of personal protection equipment and appropriate training for staff.

"Without a continual programme of thorough risk analysis and the implementation of preventative measures, people's lives are at risk.


"The continuing rise in compensation claims raises the question about whether financial cutbacks have led to compromises in safety.

"If that is the case, those compromises must be reversed. Taking shortcuts in safety ultimately leads to very high costs, both in human and in financial terms."

Last year, two council workers were pricked by needles while cleaning the city's alleyways and streets.

The Herald revealed recently that almost 12,000 needles discarded by drug users are taken off the streets each year.

And more than 30 needles used for injecting heroin are found every day.

Mr O'Callaghan also asked for figures relating to public personal injury claims against Dublin City Council in 2014.

The figures reveal that 1,206 claims against the city council last year resulted in total payouts of €7.7m.

The main reasons for claims were broken limbs and facial, shoulder and back injuries.


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