Last year, 458 thousand workers sustained physical or mental damage due to accidents in the workplace, i.e. 1 in 15 employees in the Netherlands. Nearly half of victims were absent from work at least one day as a result of such accidents. Most work-related accidents occurred in the sector hotels and restaurants and the construction sector.
Fewer male victims of work-related accidents
Last year, 5.3 percent of women were involved in work-related accidents, versus 7.6 percent of men. The percentage is higher among men because more men than women have high-risk occupations. The proportion of work-related accidents among men has declined marginally since 2005. It initially rose among women, but has been fairly stable since 2008. This trend is partly caused by the fact that the number of construction workers has decreased since 2008 and the number of women employed in health care and the public sector has increased over the period 2001-2008.
Work-related accidents, by gender
Mainly physical damage after work-related accidents
Approximately 70 percent of victims sustained physical damage, e.g. wounds, fractures, sprains or burns. More than 20 percent sustained only mental damage caused by, for example, intimidation or aggressive behaviour and nearly 10 percent suffered physical and mental damage. Nearly half of victims were absent from work at least one day as a result of work-related accidents.
More work-related accidents among young people
In 2013, 8.2 percent of employed under-25s were injured during work-related accidents, i.e. nearly one and a half times as many as among people aged 25 years or older. Under-25s, however, were less often absent after work-related accidents. Only 1 in 3 stayed at home one day or longer. The sector hotels and restaurants employs many young people. The proportion of work-related accidents is relatively high in this sector, but usually victims do not stay at home one day or longer as a result of these accidents.
Most work-related accidents occur in the sectors hotels and restaurants and construction
Most work-related accidents occurred in the sector hotels and restaurants and construction. Approximately 12 percent of people employed in the sector hotels and restaurants and more than 8 percent of construction workers became victims of work-related accidents.
Victims of work-related accidents by sector, excluding agriculture, 2013
More work-related accidents outside office hours
The accident rate is relatively high among people working outside office hours. Last year, for example, 1 in 8 people regularly working shifts and nearly one in ten people regularly working during weekends were involved in work-related accidents. The accident rate is also relatively high among people working overtime on a regular basis. In certain sectors, working outside office hours is more common than in others. People employed in the sector hotels and restaurants, for example, frequently work during weekends and in the health care sector working shifts is common.
Victims of work-related accidents by working outside office hours, 2013
Martine Mol and Astrid Pleijers