New research published by the ESRI today (20 October 2016) identifies workers who are most at risk of developing the two most common types of work-related illness- work-related stress, anxiety and depression (SAD) and work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSD). In Ireland, MSD and SAD account for 50 per cent and 18 per cent of work-related illnesses respectively.
The report identifies risk factors associated with each illness, using data from the Quarterly National Household Survey for the years 2002-2013, and outlines implications for measures to assist those most at risk of developing work-related MSD and SAD.
MSD and SAD in Ireland
Risk factors associated with work-related illness
The research identified the characteristics most associated with SAD and MSD by examining workers’ gender, age, the sector in which they are employed and working patterns, including working hours, job experience, shift work and night work.
Factors associated with Work-related Stress, Anxiety and Depression
Factors associated with Work-related MSD
Implications for policy
Helen Russell, Associate Research Professor at the ESRI and an author of the report, commented “The research findings point to a need for targeted measures to address work-related illnesses, not only to assist workers experiencing difficulties, but also to tackle the issues of lost productivity, and the associated costs for health care and social protection. As the rate of work-related illness increased during the boom years, it is especially important to consider implementing such measures as the economic recovery accelerates.”
The ESRI works towards a national vision of ‘Informed policy for a better Ireland’. This means producing high-quality analysis to provide robust evidence for policymaking, with the goals of research excellence and policy impact.
The ESRI produces research that contributes to understanding economic and social change in the new international context and that informs public policymaking and civil society in Ireland.