Increase in the frequency of accidents and number of commuting accidents in 2017
In 2017, wage earners in Finland were involved in a total of 127,991 occupational accidents. 103,441 of these accidents that were compensated under workers' compensation insurance were workplace accidents and
24,550 were occupational accidents that occurred on the commute between home and the workplace. The number of workplace accidents increased by roughly 5% and the number of commuting accidents by about 14% since 2016.
"The number of commuting accidents increased significantly since the previous year. Due to slick road conditions, there was an increase in accidents in January-March. Individual days with very slick conditions can have a significant effect on the number of commuting accidents – it is possible to have over 1,000 commuting accident take place during a single day. Foresight, work arrangements, reserving enough time for commuting and using weather-appropriate equipment help prevent commuting accidents," says Marja Kaari, Research Manager at the Finnish Workers' Compensation Center.
Frequency of accidents on the rise
The frequency of accidents is calculated by dividing the number of workplace accidents with the number of hours worked during the same period. Commuting accidents are not included in the calculation. The frequency of accidents is better at reflecting changes in occupational safety than the number of occupational accidents is.
In 2017, the frequency of accidents across all sectors was 29.4 workplace accidents per one million hours worked. The frequency increased from 2016, when the frequency was at a record low (28.4).
According to the Labour Force Survey conducted by Statistics Finland, the number of hours worked by wage earners increased 2 percent from 2016 to 2017. The number of workplace accidents increased proportionately more than the number of hours worked and the frequency rose about 3 percent from 2016.
"It is typical that during an upswing the number of hours does not react to changes as quickly as the number of accidents, which increases the frequency of accidents," Kaari describes.
2017 frequencies in principal sectors
- Manufacturing 32.1 occupational accidents per one million hours worked (6% increase compared to 2016)
- Construction 60.9 occupational accidents per one million hours worked (2% decrease)
- Wholesale and retail trade 28.4 occupational accidents per one million hours worked (2% increase)
- Transportation and storage 40.7 occupational accidents per one million hours worked (1% increase)
- Administration and assistance service activities 52.4 occupational accidents per one million hours worked (6% increase)
- Private health and social services 33.0 (2% increase)Local government 24.5 (3% increase)
"The frequency of accidents on many of the principal sectors increased. Manufacturing and administration and assistance service activities in particular saw a rise in frequency, which can in part be explained by increase in the number of accidents involving agency workers. However, the frequency decreased on the construction sector," Kaari states.
Decrease in the number of occupational accidents sustained by entrepreneurs
In 2017, a total of 6,240 occupational accidents were compensated for self-employed people who had a voluntary accident insurance. 675 of these accidents were commuting accidents, meaning that they were sustained on the journey to or from work. The number of entrepreneur's workplace accident decreased by 14% from the previous year.
The number of fatal occupational accidents decreased
According to current knowledge, last year a total of 17 wage earners died in workplace accidents. In 2016, 24 wage earners died in workplace accidents and in 2015 the number was 27 people.
Finnish Workers' Compensation Center's statistics application Tikku can be used to view more detailed occupational accident statistics for 2017. https://tilastoportaali.vakes.fi/SASVisualAnalyticsViewer/VisualAnalyticsViewer_guest.jsp?reportName=Tikku&reportPath=/6.%20Julkinen/3.%20Tapaturma/Raportit/&reportViewOnly=true&reportContextBar=true
We will publish a statistical data analysis on the severity of accidents in December-January and on the correlation between occupational accidents and workplaces and work processes in January-February 2019.
Additional information: Database Analyst Janne Sysi-Aho, tel. +358 40 450 4232, Communications Manager Sanna Sinkkilä, tel. +358 40 4504 261.