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Published: 30 November 2011

The number of accidents at work in Finland 128,000 in 2009

Close on 128,000 accidents at work occurred in Finland in 2009. Nearly 117,000 of them occurred to wage and salary earners and some 10,900 to self-employed persons (including farmers). The majority of all accidents at work, that is, around 108,900 cases, occurred at places of work or while in work traffic, whereas around 18,700 accidents at work occurred while commuting. These numbers also include such 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 2009

  Total Accidents at work Commuting accidents
Total 127 620 108 891 18 729
Less than 4 days 68 419 58 504 9 915
At least 4 days 59 153 50 351 8 802
Fatal accidents 48 36 12
Wage and salary earners 116 727 98 466 18 261
Less than 4 days 65 187 55 461 9 726
At least 4 days 51 503 42 979 8 524
Fatal accidents 37 26 11
Self-employed persons 6 162 5 694 468
Less than 4 days 2 550 2 361 189
At least 4 days 3 605 3 327 278
Fatal accidents 7 6 1
Farmers 4 731 4 731
Less than 4 days 682 682
At least 4 days 4 045 4 045
Fatal accidents 4 4

The number of accidents at work dropped drastically in 2009. In 2008, there were slightly over 153,000 accidents at work and in 2007, the respective figure was just over 149,000. The numbers of accidents at work have grown among wage and salary earners from 2005 until 2008, but in 2009 the total number of accidents at work fell to the level of ten years ago. The economic downturn in Finland in 2009 and the changes in the number of hours worked explain for the main part the change. It is not meaningful to make detailed comparisons of the time series prior and subsequent to 2005 with relation to total numbers (incl. cases resulting in disability of at least four days) on account of the full-cost renewal that entered into force in 2005.

Since the reference year 2005, an accident at work has been defined in Statistics Finland’s statistics on occupational accidents 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 that 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 2009, a total of 48 persons died at the place of work or while commuting. Of the fatal accidents at work, 26 occurred to wage and salary earners, four to own-account workers in agriculture, i.e. farmers, and six to other self-employed persons. In addition, 12 fatal accidents occurred while commuting, of which 11 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 2008 a total of 60 persons suffered fatal accidents at work or while commuting.

The victims of all fatal accidents at work included 37 wage and salary earners, four farmers and seven other self-employed persons.

Source: Occupational accident statistics 2009, Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Arto Miettinen (09) 1734 2963,

Director in charge: Riitta Harala

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Updated 30.11.2011

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Occupational accident statistics [e-publication].
ISSN=1797-9544. 2009. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 23.2.2024].
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