Nearly half a million employed annually involved in industrial accidents

06/08/2013 15:00

Last year, 478 thousand people (7 percent of all employed) were involved in workplace accidents resulting in physical injuries or mental damage. The proportion has been fairly stable since 2005. Most accidents occur in the sectors hotels and restaurants and construction.

One third of industrial accidents result in absence period of four days or more

As a result of their involvement in industrial accidents, nearly half of employees were absent from work at least one day in 2012. In one third of cases, the absence period was four days or more.

Employees involved in industrial accidents

Employees involved in industrial accidents

Physical injuries and mental damage

Nearly 70 percent of employed involved in industrial accidents sustained only physical injuries, e.g. wounds, fractures, sprains or burns. More than 20 percent suffered only mental damage, like psychological problems resulting from intimidation or aggressive behaviour. Nearly 10 percent suffered mental as well as physical damage.

Employees involved in workplace-related accidents by type of injury and gender, 2012

Employees involved in workplace-related accidents by type of injury and gender, 2012

Most industrial accidents in sectors hotels and restaurants and construction

Most industrial accidents occur in the sectors hotels and restaurants and construction. In these sectors, 11 and 9 percent of employees respectively were involved in workplace accidents in 2012, but in the sector hotels and restaurants the majority of work-related accidents did not result in absence from work or the absence period was less than one day. The construction sector, on the other hand, recorded the highest proportion of accidents leading to absence from work of one day or longer. 

Employees involved in workplace-related accidents by sector, 2012

Employees involved in workplace-related accidents by sector, 2012

Relatively high proportion of women involved in workplace accidents suffer mental damage

Men more often than women suffer physical injuries as a result of workplace accidents. Proportionally, women more often sustain mental damage. This is partly due to the sectors in which men and women are employed. Women are more often employed in sectors where accidents leading to mental damage are relatively frequent, e.g. health care and welfare and education. Men more often work in the construction sector where a relatively high proportion of workplace accidents result in physical injuries. 

Martine Mol