The impact of Covid-19
The AAA notes that, though the sanitary crisis nearly tripled the number of occupational-related illnesses to 313 cases in 2020 (127 in 2019), the amount of work- and commute-related incidents decreased; as people were asked to stay at home and work remotely, there were 21.6% less incidences of workplace accidents and 33% less commuting accidents.
The average cost of an incident in 2020 was €3,800, an increase from 2019’s €3,571.
Amongst the 15,414 work incidents reported, 19 were fatal. The AAA says in an official statement: “Unfortunately, the number of fatal accidents has not decreased, and we have 3 more victims than in 2019. However, none of these fatalities are related to Covid-19.”
The full report, which can be found online, lists the different occurrences of injury in detail.
Holding staff and employers accountable
“A work-related accident can mean…traumatised employees, a guilt-ridden team, the end of a career… or it can be avoided—together, through a culture of prevention,” says one of the short clips that AAA has launched in September 2021. The spots, which will be shown in cinema, on TV and social media, encourage employees to be mindful and proactive in reducing their risk of injury.
Though, at times, the campaign seems to put the responsibility on the employee – by saying, for instance, that an injury could delay projects or increase others’ workload – it does also remind employers that they are just as accountable in the task of reducing dangerous situations in the professional environment, by, for example, providing an adapted work station.
The new campaign, called “A work-related accident can… be avoided!”, is part of the broader Vision Zero strategy, “which expresses the national partners’ common ambition to reinvigorate occupational health and safety and to mobilise all relevant stakeholders in terms of employers and employees,” the official website states.
The strategy, launched in 2016, runs until 2022. AAA will present an interim review of the project in an online conference in November.