705 people died in work accidents in 2021

Every day, two people go to work in Spain and give up their lives on the way or during their shift. They don't come home. Last year 705 people died in accidents at work, according to provisional data published this Friday by the Ministry of Labor. The data is reduced by three labor victims compared to 2020.

Labor launches a plan to avoid occupational deaths that will surround the most dangerous companies and sectors

Labor launches a plan to avoid occupational deaths that will surround the most dangerous companies and sectors

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On the list of victims is the 45-year-old worker who fell from the roof of an industrial warehouse in Zumaiathe 57 year old worker who died after being trapped under a mechanical bull on a farm in Alcázar de San Juan (Ciudad Real). And also the worker who was electrocuted when manipulating an electrical panel in Peñalagos in January 2021. 705 people.

Of the total deaths, there are only 6 occupational victims due to COVID-19 and the number of work-related accidents due to coronavirus reaches 12,462, which are supposed to be those "cases of contagion by COVID-19 recognized as accidents at work until the date of extraction of this advance (February 1, 2022)." These seem very small figures considering the number of infections and deaths in the year. The unions have been warning for months that the official figures underrepresent deaths from coronavirus and work-related infections and ask for clarity to check whether these are being recognized in practice as such, with the reinforced rights that this entails for workers.

The statistics show a significant increase in occupational accidents that implied sick leave for workers compared to 2020, a very atypical year due to the pandemic and in which there could be a lot of underreporting in official data. In 2021, "the number of work accidents with sick leave was 572,448", 18% more than the previous year, with increases in both accidents during the working day and those 'in itinere', that is, when going to or returning from the job.

It should be noted that accidents with "serious" injuries increased by 5.6% in the case of those recorded during work and 8.5% in those occurring on the way to or from work.

More deaths on the way, less on the day

Despite the increase in registered accidents, those with a fatal result remained almost stable, with only three fewer victims than the previous year. 705 people died in 2021 in occupational accidents, with a decrease in deaths occurring during the development of the day and an increase in those that occurred 'in itinere'.

575 people died during their working hours, while performing their jobs, which is 3.4% less than in 2020. On the other hand, another 130 people lost their lives on the road in accidents 'in itinere', 15% Over the previous year. In 2021, attendance at work centers recovered more and this could have caused more traffic deaths on the way to or from work.

Of the total number of deceased workers, 633 were salaried workers (without variation compared to 2022) and another 72 victims were self-employed workers, three less than in 2020. By sex, as happens every year, the vast majority of victims are men: 648 died workers and 57 women. A difference that is explained by the higher accident rate of highly masculinized professions, such as construction, among other reasons.

Construction, the most dangerous sector

The incidence rate is a piece of information that allows us to observe the fatal accident rate during working hours, avoiding fluctuations in the number of workers. Provides data on fatal accidents per hundred thousand workers. According to this, occupational mortality was reduced to 3.1 deaths per hundred thousand workers in 2021 compared to 3.3 in 2020.

The deadliest sector is construction, with 9.2 deaths per hundred thousand workers, followed by agriculture, with 7.15. Next comes industry, with 4.8 deaths, and lastly, the service sector, with 2.1.

All large sectors, except services, registered a decrease in mortality in 2021 compared to 2020. The one that stands out the most is agriculture, with a decrease in mortality of 38% according to its incidence rate, and on the opposite side, services with an increase of 4.2%,

If we break down the type of activity a little more, now in number of people, construction was the deadliest sector. 118 workers died during their working day, one more in the previous year. It is followed by transportation and storage, with 114 labor victims, and then the manufacturing industry, with 86 deaths.

The leader of the UGT, Pepe Álvarez, stressed this week that occupational accidents continue to be a pending task and assured that he will focus part of the union's action in this exercise. The Ministry of Labor announced in December the new Shock Plan against fatal accidents at workto surround the most dangerous sectors, which he explained would be launched in January and will be deployed throughout this year.

CCOO considers "essential to reverse the regulatory changes that during the crisis allowed reducing the preventive requirements for SMEs, as well as moving forward to promote the use of the company's own means in the management of prevention to improve the quality of prevention actions. Prevention Services"; stood out this Friday. Also reinforce the campaigns of the Labor Inspection, for which they ask for more resources for the public body.

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