After increasing by 2.9% in 2018, work accidents recorded a limited increase of 0.6% last year, according to the report published on Tuesday by the Health Insurance which also takes stock of aid paid to companies under the “Covid subsidy”: 30 of the 50 million planned have already been used.
Good news for employees and their employers, in 2019 the number of work and commuting accidents increased only slightly, according to data published by the Health Insurance – Occupational Risks. After increasing by 2.9% in 2018, they show a limited increase of 0.6% largely attributable to the 2% increase in the number of employees in France.
Excluding this quasi-mechanical effect, “the frequency index, that is to say the number of accidents per 1,000 employees, decreases by -1.4%, from 34 to 33.5”. The decrease is noticeable in almost all sectors except in services. They “are increasing in particular in tertiary activities (administrations, banks, insurance, etc.) which recorded an increase of 4% or in temporary work and social action (+ 1.3%)”, explains Health Insurance – Risks. professional, without giving more details.
Resurgence of occupational diseases …
At the same time, experts from the Occupational Health and Risk Insurance have observed an upsurge in the number of occupational diseases for the second consecutive year: they have increased by 1.7% over one year to reach the number of 50,392 recognized cases.
Musculoskeletal disorders remain predominant. They are the cause of 88% of occupational illnesses. On the other hand, while, not surprisingly given the measures taken, those related to asbestos are stabilizing, mental illnesses linked to work are increasing (+ 6%) as well as illnesses linked to crystalline silica (+13 , 9%) which results in irritation of the eyes and respiratory tract, chronic bronchitis and cases of silicosis.
The work of crystalline silica source of “high risks” for health
… but a drop in the number of road accidents
Still according to data released on Tuesday, the number of commuting accidents remained relatively stable last year. With less than 1% increase, which contrasts with the strong increase in 2018 “linked to weather conditions”.
However, despite this slight increase, 99,000 road accidents were recorded, the highest level since 2,000. While accidents related to the use of scooters are increasing with 600 more recorded between 2018 and 2019.
Strike in Ile-de-France: bicycle and scooter accidents on the rise
50 million euros to finance protection against Covid-19
It remains to be seen how the health crisis linked to the Covid-19 coronavirus will affect these figures. For now, data is scarce while it is only since mid-September that Covid-19 has been recognized as an occupational disease for infected healthcare workers.
For the time being, all sectors combined, companies have not failed to use the “Covid Prevention” subsidy, an aid intended for companies with less than 50 employees to help them finance up to 50% of distancing measures physical, hygienic and cleaning.
As of July 31, 40,000 requests had been sent to the regional health insurance funds and of the 50 million euros dedicated to this subsidy, 30 had already been committed. And on average, the Health Insurance paid 1,670 euros to each company concerned in order to finance 3 to 4 “barrier” measures such as isolating the workstation of an exposed employee or even ensuring that the distances between employees or with the public.