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Fatal occupational accidents in the Nordic countries 2003 – 2008

image of Fatal occupational accidents in the Nordic countries 2003 – 2008

This report is a review of the Nordic countries systems regarding fatal occupational accidents, i.e. the reporting process, the investigation process, the registration process, the registries, and the legal statutes. The report shows that during the time period 2003-2008 the total number of fatal occupational accidents in the Nordic countries was 1243, i.e. between 1.51 to 2.49 fatal occupational accidents per 100,000 workers per year varying between countries. The report also shows that more than 93 % of these fatal accidents involved males, which reflects the predominance of men in the most dangerous branches, i.e. agriculture, construction, transport, and communication. The report concludes that in order to make data on occupational accidents more comparable among the Nordic countries and improve our common ability to identify prevention strategies, a closer collaboration in the field of occupational accident investigation and registration is needed.

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Discussion

This report summarizes the reporting process of occupational accidents in the Nordic countries. The differences are noticeable with Denmark, Norway and Iceland having a clearly separate registry to which the employer is obligated to report the accident. In Finland and Sweden this is linked with the insurance system, with the Finnish system being very closely linked to the compensation system. This should result in a lower threshold in Finland than in the other countries when it comes to reporting accidents. However, one should not expect that this would greatly influence reporting of fatal occupational accidents. But it is worth noting that in Norway the Labour Inspection Authority has concerns that it does not have full reporting of fatal occupational accidents.

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