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Published by source: 06 February 2019
Harmonised data on accidents at work are collected in the framework of the administrative data collection 'European Statistics on Accidents at Work (ESAW)', on the basis of a methodology developed first in 1990. An accident at work is defined as 'a discrete occurrence in the course of work which leads to physical or mental harm'. The data include only fatal and non-fatal accidents involving more than 3 calendar days of absence from work. If the accident does not lead to the death of the victim it is called a 'non-fatal' (or 'serious') accident. A fatal accident at work is defined as an accident which leads to the death of a victim within one year of the accident. The variables collected on accidents at work include:
The national ESAW sources are the declarations of accidents at work, either to the accident insurance of the national social security system, a private insurance for accidents at work or to other relevant national authorities (labour inspection etc.). As an exception, accident data for the Netherlands are based on survey data. On the Eurostat website, ESAW data are disseminated in two sections: 'Main Indicators' and 'Details by economic sector (NACE Rev2, 2008 onwards)'. Depending on the table, data are broken down by: economic activity (NACE 'main sectors' (1 digit code) or more detailed NACE divisions (2 digit codes)); the occupation of the victim (ISCO-08 code); country; severity of the accident, sex, age, employment status, size of the enterprise, body part injured and type of injury. The data is presented in form of numbers, percentages, incidence rates and standardised incidence rates of non-fatal and fatal accidents at work, either for EU aggregates, countries or certain breakdowns by dimensions such as age, sex etc.
The incidence rate indicates the relative importance of non-fatal or fatal accidents at work in the working population. For both types of accidents at work the numerator is the number of accidents that occurred during the year. The denominator is the reference population (i.e. the number of persons in employment) expressed in 100,000 persons. The reference population (or number of persons in employment) related to the national ESAW reporting system is provided by the Member States, either from administrative sources related to accidents at work or from the EU Labour Force Survey (LFS).