Musculoskeletal disorders and work-related stress, anxiety and depression account for over two thirds of all work-related illnesses, according to new research from the Economic and Social Research Institute.
In 2013, an estimated 55,000 workers in Ireland had a work-related illness, resulting in the loss of 790,000 days of work.
The ESRI said that musculoskeletal disorders (MSD) accounted for 50% of all work-related illnesses while stress, anxiety and depression (SAD) accounted for 18%.
The average length of absence was 15.9 days for MSD and 17 days for SAD.
The average for all other types of work-related illnesses is 12.8 days.
Work-related MSD affects different parts of the body that are used for body movement, for example, the skeleton, muscles, tendons and ligaments.
Work-related stress is defined by the World Health Organisation as
"the response people may have, when presented with work demands and pressures that are not matched to their knowledge and abilities, and which challenge their ability to cope".
Depression and anxiety are distinct psychiatric disorders with defined diagnostic criteria.
The institute found that women have a higher risk of SAD, with 5.8 per 1,000 female workers compared to four per 1,000 male workers.
It also said the risk of SAD illness is highest for workers in the education sector, followed by those in health, public administration, transport and "other services", which includes finance, information and communications.
Workers in the agriculture, construction and industry sectors were found to have the lowest risk of SAD - less than three per 1,000 workers while the self-employed have a lower risk of SAD illnesses than employees.
Shift workers were also found to have a greater risk of SAD.