In the construction industry, the frequency of workplace accidents increased as the number of work hours decreased.


The number of workplace accidents in the construction industry decreased slightly in 2022 compared to the previous year, according to a recent press release. However, the accident frequency rate increased due to a greater decline in the number of working hours than in the number of accidents.

While the overall number of workplace accidents decreased by around one percent, the accident frequency rate increased in the construction industry because of the decline in the number of working hours.

Last year, the accident frequency rate was 59.7 workplace accidents per million working hours in the construction industry. This rate had been decreasing for several years and hit its lowest point at 55.1 in 2020, but it started to rise again thereafter.

One of the factors contributing to the increase in accident frequency rate is the reduction in working hours in the industry. The number of working hours has fallen by about 14 percent from 2018 to last year.

The majority of accidents were caused by sharp objects, falls, or impacts

Approximately a quarter of all workplace accidents in the construction industry last year involved falls, cuts or sharp object impacts. Most falls occurred from relatively low heights, such as from ladders or scaffolding, but there were still some high falls. Lower limb injuries were the most common outcome, accounting for 35 percent of all falls, while multiple body parts were injured in 15 percent of cases.

"Workplace accidents caused by manual handling have decreased to around 10 percent. Twenty years ago, nearly one-fifth of workplace accidents in the construction industry were caused by manual handling. This change reflects the changing physical demands of work in the construction industry," said database analyst Janne Sysi-Aho.

Non-construction workers were frequently injured on construction sites

People from other professions also work on construction sites, such as installers and drivers bringing in materials. Last year, nearly 4,700 workplace accidents happened to non-construction workers on construction sites, which was about 7 percent more than in 2021. Of the non-construction workers who were injured on construction sites, 36 percent were temporary agency workers.

"It's important to manage safety on a construction site as a whole, taking into account everyone who works or visits the site, regardless of their profession or role. Different-sized sites have various roles, such as installers and drivers bringing in materials. The key factor is to manage safety for everyone," Sysi-Aho emphasized.

The Finnish Workers' Compensation Center will release industry-specific analyses of the 2022 workplace accident statistics in the spring and early summer of this year. The forecast of this year's workplace accident figures will be released in September or October 2023.

The 2022 workplace accident statistics were published at the end of February 2023. The report provides important insights that can help improve safety measures in the construction industry and reduce the number of workplace accidents.