The number of occupational accidents rose more in 2022 than expected
In 2022, a total of 114 600 accidents involving employees occurred, of which 92 000 were occupational accidents and 22 600 were commuting accidents. The number of occupational accidents rose by 1,6% and the number of commuting accidents rose by as much as 23,5% from the previous year.
The number of occupational accidents rose more than anticipated in the forecast for 2022 published by the Finnish Workers’ Compensation Center in October.
In many industries, the number of occupational accidents decreased or remained at the level of the previous year. By contrast, the number of occupational accidents rose in the transportation and storage industries, and in administration and support services, which also explains the growth in the total number of occupational accidents last year.
Almost a quarter of occupational accidents were caused by stumbling, and over 3 000 occupational accidents that resulted from falls occurred.
“The number and proportion of occupational accidents that happen when a person is moving is significant. Last year, out of all occupational and commuting accidents, 35 per cent were classified as stumbles. This is a clear opportunity to develop occupational safety,” says Janne Sysi- Aho, Database Analyst at the Finnish Workers’ Compensation Center.
Frequency variations between industries, age groups and geographical areas
In 2022, the frequency of occupational accidents, or the number of compensated claims per one million hours worked, remained at the level of the previous year, at 26 occupational accidents for every one million hours worked. Viewed from a longer perspective, the frequency of occupational accidents has been in a slight decline.
However, frequencies increased from the previous year especially in the construction, transportation and storage industries, and also in administration and support services.
There are significant differences in the frequency of occupational accidents between different age groups of employees. Last year, the frequency was highest among employees aged 20 to 24. Although many occupational accidents happen to young people in quantitative terms, occupational accidents occurring in the oldest age groups of employees have, on average, more serious consequences than for the youngest age groups.
Examined regionally, the lowest frequency was found in Ostrobothnia, at 18 occupational accidents per one million hours worked, and the highest was in Satakunta, with 37 occupational accidents per one million hours worked. The differences in frequencies between regions are accounted for by the differing economic structures of the regions, for example.
The number of commuting accidents involving employees rose for the second consecutive year. Although the shift to remote work caused by the coronavirus pandemic reduced the number of commuting accidents in 2020, last year the number of commuting accidents returned near the level of 2019.
Many commuting accidents occurred in the spring of last year. For example, at the beginning of March last year there was a short period of slippery conditions when the weather cooled and an area of precipitation passed over Finland, resulting in around five hundred commuting accidents in Uusimaa alone within a few days.
The majority of commuting accidents occurred to pedestrians, which also includes accidents that occurred while walking as part of traveling by another means of transport.
Upcoming statistical publications on occupational accidents
The Finnish Workers’ Compensation Center will publish industry-specific analyses of accident statistics for 2022 during the spring and early summer. The projection of the number of occupational accidents for this year will be published in October 2023.