GERMANY: Publication of the 2012 statistical report on occupational health and safety

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Each year the Federal institute for occupational safety and health (‘BAuA’) publishes a report reviewing occupational accident and injury occurrence. This year, the organization has added a chapter on gender issues in “atypical workers”.

Decline in the number of occupational injuries
In 2012, less than 1 million occupational injuries were recorded. This is the second time since 2009 that their number has not exceeded one million. However, the number of fatal injuries increased, from 664 in 2011 to 677 in 2012.

Occupational diseases accounted for 522 million days of work disability
Out of the 522 million days of work disability attributed to diseases of work-related origin, 122 million were caused by MSD and 60 million by mental and behavioural disorders. For MSDs, the increase between 2011 and 2012 is significant. In 2012, they accounted for 23.4% of days lost, compared with 21.6% in 2011.  

According to estimates by the BAuA, working hours not performed cost the German economy a total of 53 billion. 

The gender issue for atypical workers
In its report, the BAuA also examined “atypical workers”, namely:

  • part-time employees performing not more than 20 hours’ work per week; 
  • people performing low-paid jobs; 
  • workers on fixed-term contracts; 
  • temporary workers; 
  • self-employed business owners;
  • posted workers.

The BAUA examined the working conditions of these precarious workers according to their gender. It concluded that men and women are concerned by atypical work, but in different ways. Men are by far in the majority in the temporary work sector (71%), and women in part-time positions (86%). That said, the proportion of men increases considerably with age for part-time work, which leads to high over-representation in the 55-64 age group. 

The statistics show that “atypical workers” are increasingly numerous, and they now account for a large proportion of the labour force. They often have tougher working conditions than other workers. That is why it is extremely interesting to know their specific features in order to improve health and safety at work for these people.

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