SWEDEN: sharp increase in work-related injuries between 2020 and 2021

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Between 2020 and 2021, the number of accidents at work with time off increased by 23% and the number of occupational diseases by 48%. This increase is largely linked to the pandemic. It also affects women in particular, who are more affected by the Covid-19 in the health and care sector.

In 2021, the Social Insurance Agency recorded a total of:

  • 153,232 accidents at work, of which 39,049 resulted in at least one day’s absence from work,
  • 10,990 commuting accidents,
  • 29,854 occupational diseases,
  • 39 fatal accidents (3 women, 36 men) among the Swedish workforce,
  • 9 fatal accidents among people who are not part of the Swedish workforce.

The large increase in accidents among women is largely explained by side effects related to the Covid-19 vaccination. This is a completely new type of report, which before the pandemic was negligible. It has risen from just under 300 to almost 3,400. This is a record number of lost-time injuries for women in 2021. The most common accidents were falls and movements with effort, such as lifting patients. For men, most reported lost-time accidents were caused by loss of control of hand tools and means of transport.

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