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Crafts: Fewer accidents on construction sites – but 76 deaths again

Crafts: Fewer accidents on construction sites – but 76 deaths again
Crafts: Fewer accidents on construction sites – but 76 deaths again

Circular saws, construction vehicles, roof work: there is no shortage of danger on construction sites. Accidents cannot always be avoided; according to BG Bau, there are tens of thousands of them every year. But the goal is clear.

The number of work-related accidents in construction fell again last year. The number of fatal accidents remained constant at 76 (2022: 74), as the Construction Industry Accident Insurance Association (BG Bau) told dpa. The number of work-related accidents in the construction industry and construction-related services was 96,153, compared to 99,380 a year earlier.

“The trend is definitely declining. Nevertheless, the accident rate in the construction industry is significantly higher than in other sectors of the economy,” said Bernhard Arenz, head of the main prevention department at BG Bau. In 2019, there were still almost 107,000 work-related accidents in construction.

“Mission Zero” as a goal

Compared to working in an office or factory, the situations on a construction site are always a little different and less predictable – and this increases the risk of accidents. In addition, large machines are often used, and work is carried out at very high or very low locations – the forces that act in the event of an accident are correspondingly great. Around 15 percent of work accidents on construction sites result in serious and very serious injuries that result in more than 16 weeks of incapacity to work.

Accidents often end in death: According to BG Bau, 76 people died in construction accidents last year. “Every fatal accident is one too many,” said Arenz. BG Bau is pursuing “Mission Zero” at this point, meaning zero deaths.

Health awareness plays a crucial role

The aim is to reduce the number of work accidents overall to less than 40 over the next five years. The rate indicates the number of work accidents per 1,000 workers. In 2023, it was 44.6. “The rate has been declining for decades now, and was once over 100,” said Arenz.

He cited the increasing importance of safety and health in society as a key reason for the decline. Many employees now place greater importance on their own protection, and the coronavirus pandemic has also given a boost to the use of FFP2 masks in construction.

“I would like to see the public’s awareness become even more pronounced,” said Arenz. Most recently, the BG Bau had drawn the attention of employees to the need for more noise protection on construction sites. Suspected noise-induced hearing loss is currently by far the most common occupational disease in construction.

Further figures from BG Bau for the year 2023

– The proportion of falls, trips and slips is high and the consequences are often devastating. According to statistics, 37 percent of fatal accidents in 2023 were related to a “fall”. According to Arenz, the proportion was usually even higher in previous years.

– One third of injuries in construction affect workers’ hands, 17.7 percent affect feet and ankles. One in ten injuries affects the head.

– According to BG Bau, spending on rehabilitation measures will total almost 800 million euros for 2023. In addition, 1.04 billion euros were spent on pension benefits following accidents.

Source: Stern

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