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Published: 30 November 2010

158,000 accidents at work occurred in Finland in 2008

Slightly more than 153,000 accidents at work occurred in Finland in 2008. Nearly 142,000 of them occurred to wage and salary earners and some 11,600 to self-employed persons (including farmers). The majority of the accidents, or around 130,500 of them, occurred at places of work or in work traffic, whereas around 22,700 of them occurred while commuting. These numbers also include 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.

Number of accidents at work of wage and salary earners, other self-employed persons and farmers by severity in 2008

  Total Accidents at work Commuting accidents
Total 153 166 130 510 22 656
Less than 4 days 80 320 68 643 11 677
At least 4 days 72 786 61 826 10 960
Fatal accidents 60 41 19
Wage and salary earners 141 531 119 328 22 203
Less than 4 days 76 839 65 338 11 501
At least 4 days 64 644 53 960 10 684
Fatal accidents 48 30 18
Self-employed persons 6 389 5 936 453
Less than 4 days 2 695 2 519 176
At least 4 days 3 689 3 413 276
Fatal accidents 5 4 1
Farmers 5 246 5 246
Less than 4 days 786 786
At least 4 days 4 453 4 453
Fatal accidents 7 7

The number of accidents at work went up again in 2008. In 2007, there were slightly over 149,000 accidents at work and in 2006 the respective figure was just over 146,000. Most of the increase in the number of accidents at work is due to the full-cost responsibility system of patient care which was introduced at 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 legislative amendment has especially pushed up the number of minor accidents at work resulting in less than four days’ absence from work, some of which remained unreported in the past. Due to this change, the data for earlier years are not entirely comparable with the total data for 2005-2008. By contrast, the revision has a smaller impact on the number of wage and salary earners' accidents at work resulting in at least four days’ absence from work.

Since reference year 2005, an accident at work has been defined in Statistics Finland’s occupational accident statistics 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 four days. Most of the data in this online release are presented using this criterion. The time series have been revised retrospectively to correspond with the definition.

In 2008, a total of 60 persons died at the workplace or while commuting. Of these fatal accidents at work, 30 occurred to wage and salary earners, seven to self-employed farmers and four to other self-employed persons. In addition, 19 fatal accidents occurred while commuting, of which 18 occurred to wage and salary earners and one to a self-employed person. The number of fatal accidents at work fell clearly from the year before, for in 2007 a total of 76 persons lost their lives in fatal accidents at work or while commuting.

Of all the victims of fatal accidents at work, 48 were wage and salary earners, seven farmers and five other self-employed persons.

Source: Occupational accident statistics 2008, Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Arto Miettinen (09) 1734 2963,

Director in charge: Riitta Harala

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Updated 30.11.2010

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Occupational accident statistics [e-publication].
ISSN=1797-9544. 2008. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 23.2.2024].
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