Work accidents down in 1996

Accidents at work in Austria have tended to decline over recent years. a trend which continued in 1996. This is due entirely to a reduction of accidents among waged employees.

The total number of work accidents declined from 164,469 in 1994 to 159,122 in 1995 and to 149,949 in 1996, according to figures recently released by the General Accident Insurance Corporation (Allgemeine Unfallversicherungsanstalt, AUVA). These numbers refer to a broad concept of "work accident" including accidents on the way to and from work, and also include accidents involving self-employed people, of which there are roughly 5,000 every year.

The table below shows only the accidents involving employees, broken down into waged and salaried categories, and in the first two columns it gives the number of accidents per 1,000 insured employees of both categories, excluding accidents on the way to or from work.

Accidents per 1,000 waged employees Accidents per 1,000 salaried employees Deaths of waged employees Deaths of salaried employees
1990 105 18 160 35
1991 102 17 159 42
1992 100 18 127 43
1993 94 17 150 39
1994 96 18 134 23
1995 92 17 129 32
1996 87 17 110 33

As is to be expected, waged workers are much more likely than salaried employees to suffer accidents at work. However, while the likelihood of accidents among salaried staff has remained steady, it has shown a clearly declining trend among their waged counterparts in the 1990s. The level in 1996 was 17% below that of 1990. The same divergence is to be observed when it comes to deaths. Somewhat erratic variations around a stable level are the case for salaried employees but a clearly declining trend can be observed among the waged. Men are four times more likely to have an accident than women.

According to the AUVA, each accident on average costs ATS 14,000 and, in addition, results in 14 days of sick leave.

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