ITALY: Sharp decline in occupational injuries in the construction sector

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EchaffaudagesInjuries are more frequent and more serious in the construction sector than in other sectors of activity. But between 2009 and 2013, the number of cases reported and the number of cases recognized fell sharply (-46%).

In the past five years, the number of injury reports in the construction sector fell from more than 83,000 in 2009 to 45,000 in 2013. During the same period, the number of cases recognized fell from 72,000 to 38,000, representing a 46.7% decline, which exceeds by around 20 percentage points the decline recorded in industry and services (-27%).

This decline is due to the application of more effective safety measures in companies, but also an adverse economic environment. In recent years, production levels in the building sector fell continuously, by 10.8% in 2012 and 13.5% in 2013. The number of people employed in the sector also fell, going below the 1.6 million mark in 2013 (-5% compared with 2012).

Injuries occurring in the construction sector are therefore fewer than in the past, but they are often more serious than in other sectors. For example, injuries resulting in a permanent disability represent 12% in the building sector, versus 8% for all sectors combined. It is mainly manual activities and the use of dangerous tools and heavy machines that expose workers in this sector to a higher risk of injury, with consequences that are more serious than average.

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