Fatal Accidents Falling, But Lost Workdays Rising in Germany

A new report from the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health says workdays lost to injury and illness rose from 98.4 per 100 workers in 2006 to 114.3 in 2009.

A new report published by Germany’s Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (Baua) finds serious occupational accidents dropped to their lowest level ever in 2009: 26 per 1,000 full-time workers, and fatal incidents continue to decline. But work-related injuries still cost the German economy 75 billion euros that year, the report estimates.

Total lost workdays due to injury and illness are rising, from 98.4 per 100 workers in 2006 to 114.3 in 2009, and 22.8 percent of the latter were attributed to musculoskeletal disorders, followed by respiratory illnesses (14.8 percent). Of the 2,803 workers who died in 2009 from occupational diseases, 49.1 percent of the deaths were attributable to asbestos exposure, the agency reported.

The institute advises the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs on all workplace safety and health issues. It is roughly equivalent to NIOSH in the United States, being the federal research institution.

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