Statistics regarding accidents at work in the Netherlands in 2018

Unfortunately, despite promoting work safety, availability of a wide range of professional and safety-related training (e.g. VCA), as well as legal requirements obliging the employer and employee to comply with safety standards, we still witness dangerous situations in work places, which result in accidents at work. Every year accidents at work are subjected to statistical analysis in order to understand the grounds of the problem and to determine the risk groups.

General statistics of accidents at work

In 2018 it was reported that 3.1 percent of all employees have suffered an injury as a result of an accident at work (respectively, 3.4% of all men and 2.8% of all women). These data suggest a decrease in the number of work-related accidents by 0.3% as compared to 2017. 1.7% of employees that have reported an accident were able to continue their work, which means that the event did not require the absence of an employee at work.

The statistics report that as a result of an accident at work of 2% of reported injuries were physical damage and 0.5% of all injuries were classified as mental health damage. Men were more common subjects of the physical type of accidents (2.3%), while women more often reported a psychological problem (0.7%).

Accidents at work corresponding to the area of economic activity

The available data was also analysed in 4 groups of economic activity:

  1. agriculture, forestry and fishing
  2. industry and energy (including construction, industry, mining and quarrying, processes related to the production and supply of energy, etc.)
  3. commercial services (including transport, rentals, finance, consulting, etc.)
  4. non-commercial services (including sport and culture, education, administration and governmental work, etc.)

The data shows that in the groups mentioned above:

  1. accidents causing physical injury occurred: 4%; 2.4%; 2% and 1.8% of all employees in a given sector
  2. mental injury happened to: 0.2%; 0.4%, 0.4% and 0.9% of all employees.

Accidents at work – migration background

Due to the fact that the Netherlands employ staff from various countries, the migration background of the employees was analyzed. Three groups of employees were distinguished:

  • I – Person with a Dutch background (both parents)
  • II – “Western” – Person with a migration background of one of the countries in Europe (excluding Turkey), North America and Oceania, and Indonesia and Japan.
  • III – “Non – western” – Person with a migration background from one of the countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia (excluding Indonesia and Japan) or Turkey.

Migration backgroundPhysical injuryMental injury
Dutch2%*0,5%*
Western2,3%*0,6%*
“Non-western”1,8%*0,6%*

* % of all employees

Reporting an accident at work

It is every employee’s duty to report all accidents at work, regardless if it concerns a “near miss”, or an accident with a serious consequence. Therefore, each of the accidents must be reported to the superior so that corrective measures can be taken and future accidents prevented.

The employer is each time obliged to inform the Labor Inspectorate about serious and fatal accidents. On the website of the SZW Inspection, a direct telephone number can be found (open 24 hours a day), which is used to report fatal or serious accidents. In addition, in the case of serious accidents, the form provided on the website can be used.

Data source: CBS