While I am aware that employer liability premiums will be increasing this year, my understanding is that these increases are necessitated by a number of factors, including the increasing cost of settling claims. Insurers have cited, in particular, increases in health care costs, as medical treatment becomes more sophisticated.
In relation to reducing the level of workplace accidents, there are a number of actions and initiatives being taken with a view to encouraging safer working practices, reducing the incidences of workplace accidents, and the accompanying costs to both workers and employers.
One important initiative is the workplace safety initiative. This initiative is supported and promoted by the ICTU, IBEC, the Health and Safety Authority, my Department and the Irish Insurance Federation. Under this initiative a voluntary code on safe working and accident prevention has been developed. Many companies have already adopted the voluntary code as proposed under this initiative.