GERMANY: Young workers and absenteeism

Home > The news of EUROGIP and occupational risks in Europe > GERMANY: Young workers and absenteeism

Young workers have 2.5 times more accidents and apprentices are far more often absent due to injuries, according to a study by the German Employee Health Insurance Fund (Deutsche Angestellten Krankenkasse, DAK).

In 2015, 22 accidents were counted in the 15-19 age group, compared with only nine for all age groups combined. Respiratory diseases were the most frequent cause of sickness absences among young workers. About 76 diseases of this type were identified per 100 apprentices insured with the DAK. However, these absences have less impact because the apprentices are absent for only about four days.

On the other hand, for an injury, young workers are absent for 10 days on average, 20 days for a knee dislocation and 55 days for a femoral neck fracture. It has been found that not only do apprentices have more accidents, but also more serious accidents. “Young people have a greater tendency to take risks, explains Elisabeth Thomas, a doctor at DAK-Gesundheit. They practise risky sports and have different leisure habits.”

Top 10 conditions (as a percentage of days’ absence)
Among apprentices aged 15 to 19

  1. Respiratory diseases (28.6%)
  2. Injuries (19.5%)
  3. Infections (11.3%)
  4. Digestive disorders (8.6%)
  5. MSDs (8.2%)
  6. Mental illnesses (7.2%)
  7. Non-specific symptoms (5.8%)
  8. Conditions of the nervous system, eyes and ears (2.9%)
  9. Skin diseases (2.7%)
  10. Conditions of the urogenital system (1.7%)

Among workers aged 15 to 65

  1. MSDs (21.7%)
  2. Respiratory diseases (16.6%)
  3. Mental illnesses (16.2%)
  4. Injuries (11.7%)
  5. Digestive disorders (5.2%)
  6. Infections (4.6%)
  7. Tumours (4.5%)
  8. Cardiovascular diseases (4.3%)
  9. Conditions of the nervous system, eyes and ears (4.2%)
  10. Non-specific symptoms (3.8%)


Discover other news

Community news


BusinessEurope’s position on teleworking and the right to disconnect

On 25 June, BusinessEurope responded to the European Commission's consultation on the right to disconnect, pointing out that over-regulation could hamper the growth and benefits of teleworking and arguing for minimal EU intervention, leaving Member States, social partners and companies to develop their own policies.



GERMANY: The importance of reporting traumatic events at work

A colleague falls off a ladder. A nurse is stopped and threatened. A train driver hits a cyclist crossing the tracks at high speed. These incidents can cause trauma and feelings of fear, powerlessness and guilt. They need to be reported in order to provide support for those affected.



AUSTRIA: More accidents at work and on the way to work in 2023

According to data published by the Austrian Social insurance for occupational injuries (AUVA) in mid-June, 145,748 claims were registered last year, broken down as follows 29,866 accidents (at work and and students), 13,062 commuting accidents and 2,820 cases of occupational diseases. While the number of accidents (at work and on the way to work) has increased, the number of occupational diseases has decreased compared to 2022.