GERMANY: The 2016 figures for occupational safety and health

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The number of recognized occupational diseases (ODs) increased by 23.7% from the 2015 figure, to 22,320 in 2016. This increase is due to the registration of new diseases on the list of ODs in 2015. For skin cancer caused by ultraviolet rays, around 3,000 new cases were recognized and 138 pensions were granted. Conversely, the number of OD cases reported declined by 2%, to 80,000. In 2016, 2,576 people died from the sequels of an occupational disease. Two-thirds of these deaths are attributable to the use of materials containing asbestos.

MSDs are still the reason for the greatest number of workdays lost due to sick leave, accounting for 22.8%. These are followed by mental illnesses, at 16.2%. Respiratory diseases are in third position, at 13.5% (which corresponds to more than 1 out of 7 lost work days).

The number of occupational injuries increased to 960,000, due to a pickup in activity, but the accident frequency rate per 1,000 full-time workers decreased slightly to 23.2 (versus 23.3 in 2015). In all, 873 people lost their lives at work or on the way to or from work in 2016, i.e. 9% less than in 2015. 

With 174,000 cases in 2016, retirements because of a reduction in working capacity remained stable on the whole. Retirements because of MSDs increased sharply (1,500 additional cases, +7.2%). Mental illnesses (42.8%) remain by far the most common reason for early retirement.

Read the BAuA report (in German)

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