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Published: 26 November 2008

Accidents at work in Finland in 2006

Slightly more than 146,000 accidents at work occurred in Finland in 2006. Around 134,000 of these occurred to wage and salary earners and some 11,800 to self-employed persons (including farmers) (Table 1). The majority of all accidents at work, that is, slightly more than 127,300 of them, occurred at places of work or while in work traffic, whereas around 18,800 accidents at work occurred while commuting. These numbers include also minor accidents at work that led to disability lasting less than four days, and on which insurance companies paid compensation only for medical treatment expenses.

The number of accidents at work went up for the second consecutive year. In 2005 the number of accidents at work was slightly over 141,000, while in 2004 the respective number was slightly under 121,000. The main part of the increase in the number of accidents at work is due to the full-cost responsibility system of patient care which was taken into use in the beginning of 2005. Under this system, medical care facilities must always report the care of a victim of an accident at work to the insurance company. This amendment of legislation has pushed up the number of mild accidents at work resulting in less than four days’ absence from work, a part of which previously remained unreported. Due to this change, the data for earlier years are not entirely comparable with the total data for 2005-2006. The effect of the renewal on wage and salary earners' accidents at work resulting in at least four days’ absence from work, then again, was smaller.

Statistics Finland’s occupational accident statistics have begun to define an accident at work according to the definition used in Eurostat's (the Statistical Office of the European Communities) European Statistics on Accidents at Work (ESAW). According to the definition the statistics contain data on accidents at work which have resulted in disability of at least 4 days. The majority of data included this online publication are presented using this limit. The time series have been revised retroactively to correspond to the definition.

In 2006 a total of 71 persons died at their place or work or while commuting. Of these fatal accidents at work, 47 occurred to wage and salary earners, 5 to farmers and 2 to other self-employed persons. In addition, 17 fatal accidents occurred while commuting, of which 16 occurred to wage and salary earners and one to other self-employed persons. The number of fatal accidents at work fell clearly from the year before, as in 2005 a total of 99 persons suffered fatal accidents at work or while commuting.

The victims of all fatal accidents at work included 63 wage and salary earners, 5 farmers and 3 other self-employed persons.

Table 1. Number of accidents at work of wage and salary earners, other self-employed persons and farmers by severity in 2006

  Total Accidents at work Commuting accidents
Total 146 157 127 324 18 833
Less than 4 days 73 018 63 808 9 210
At least 4 days 73 068 63 462 9 606
Fatal accidents 71 54 17
Wage and salary earners 134 333 115 936 18 397
Less than 4 days 69 685 60 636 9 049
At least 4 days 64 585 55 253 9332
Fatal accidents 63 47 16
Self-employed persons 5 858 5 422 436
Less than 4 days 2 391 2 230 161
At least 4 days 3 464 3 190 274
Fatal accidents 3 2 1
Farmers 5 966 5 966
Less than 4 days 942 942
At least 4 days 5 019 5 019
Fatal accidents 5 5

Source: Occupational accident statistics 2006, Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Arto Miettinen 09–1734 2963

Director in charge: Riitta Harala

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Updated 26.11.2008

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Occupational accident statistics [e-publication].
ISSN=1797-9544. 2006. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 23.2.2024].
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