Trade Union News from Finland
The number of work
accidents rose again in 2011
Helsinki (16.04.2012 - Juhani Artto) The latest statistics on work accidents
reveal a fairly alarming trend. Despite the best efforts of individuals and
organizations to reduce the number of work accidents there has been a marked
increase in 2011-up by over six per cent from 2010.
And this follows an earlier five per cent
rise in 2010.
This worsening trend can also be seen from the changes in the overall
accident rate. Between 2009 and 2011 it rose by over eight per cent. Thus,
variation of economic activity does not offer any real comfort when studying
The total number of cases where wage and salary earners received
compensation from work accidents rose last year to 132,000. This works out
31.5 compensated work accidents per one million hours of work.
Raili Perimäki, SAK's expert on occupational safety issues, believes that it
is possible to create a permanently positive trend. What is needed is a
strengthening of occupational safety skills at workplaces. Those
responsible for occupational safety should be mandated, by legislative
reform, to participate in training on occupational safety. More resources
for safety inspection are needed, too, Perimäki says.
"Work accidents should be analysed in a more detailed way to develop
pre-emptive measures more specific as to industry-specific risks." In recent
years this has been done in the construction industry, and results, at least
in 2011, have been encouraging, Perimäki adds.
In 2011 the total number of fatal accidents dropped to 28 from 33 in 2010.
However, in 2008 the same figure was 25. In 2009 a total of 29 persons lost
lives in work accidents.