Record low number of occupational accidents in 2020
Insurance institutions paid compensation for 103,700 occupational accidents that occurred to employees in 2020. Of these, 87,500 occurred during work tasks at the workplace and 16,200 while commuting between the home and workplace.
The number of occupational accidents that occurred in 2020 was nearly 18% lower than the corresponding number in 2019.
The total number of occupational accidents reported in 2020 was the lowest ever in the history of compiling statistics on occupational accidents. The previous record-low number was reported in 2014, when a total of 115,724 occupational accidents occurred during the year.
“The measures to prevent and control the coronavirus pandemic taken as of March 2020 and the related economic downturn have especially contributed to the decrease in the number of occupational accidents. In light of these phenomena, the change itself is logical, but the scale of the decrease has taken us by surprise,” says Director Mika Tynkkynen at Workers’ Compensation Center.
Many office workers have been working from home due to the pandemic, but the number of occupational accidents occurring in remote work only increased slightly compared to previous years. The accident risk in work performed remotely is very low, which explains the low number of occupational accidents occurring in remote work covered by workers’ compensation.
Drastic decrease in accident frequency rate
Last year’s accident frequency rate, i.e. the total number of injuries covered by workers’ compensation per one million hours worked, was 25.
The accident frequency rate is the number of hours worked in a period in proportion to the number of accidents reported in the period. The rate is calculated using the working hours data derived from the Labour Force Survey carried out by Statistics Finland.
“The accident frequency rate changed drastically compared to the year 2019, when the total frequency rate was 28.7 accidents per million hours worked. The number of working hours only reduced slightly last year in proportion to the change in the number of occupational accidents.”
A downward trend was seen in the number of occupational accidents in all the main sectors except for social and health services.
Number of fatal accidents decreased
In total, 17 occupational accidents resulting in the death of an employee occurred in 2020. Of these, 10 occurred in a workplace. Seven occupational accidents resulting in the death of an employee occurred during commuting between the home and workplace.
Most dangerous professions
The most dangerous work in Finland is still carried out by newspaper carriers and couriers; their accident frequency rate remained close to 165 in 2019–2020.
The accident frequency rate of construction workers, whose job is generally perceived as dangerous, has been on average around 120 occupational accidents per one million hours worked in recent years.
Self-employed persons' accidents
In 2020, insurance institutions paid compensation for 5,700 occupational accidents that occurred to self-employed persons, which is over 12% lower than in 2019.
Last year, five occupational accidents led to the death of an insured self-employed person. Of these fatal accidents, two occurred in a workplace.
Taking out workers’ compensation insurance is voluntary for self-employed persons, so the number of injuries is also affected by the number of insured self-employed persons.