In 2020, almost 2.7 million non-fatal work accidents resulted in workers being absent from work for four days or more in the EU, while 3,355 work-related accidents were fatal, according to data released by Eurostat, the European Union’s statistical service.
In Cyprus, there was a total of 1,527 work accidents in 2020, compared with 2,168 in 2019, and 16 fatal accidents compared to 10 the year before. The severity of almost half of the non-lethal accidents in Cyprus is not specified in the data, which is a much larger percentage compared to the EU average.
Almost all the sectors of the economy in the EU recorded fewer accidents in 2020 compared with 2019, except for the health sector. This decreasing trend could be explained by the reduction or closure of specific activities with the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
The health sector recorded a significant increase in accidents (17% increase compared with 2019). The proportion of accidents recorded within the health sector increased from 11% of the total accidents in 2019 to 15% of the total accidents in 2020 at the EU level.
Eurostat also analyses the severity of work-related accidents, based on the number of full calendar days where the victim is unfit for work due to an accident at work.
In 2020, the accidents that resulted in 7–13 days' absence from work represented the most frequent type of accidents (same as in 2019). There were 676,781 such accidents (25% of the total number of accidents).
Accidents that resulted in 1–3 months of absence from work were the second-most frequent type of accident in 2020 (519,695; 19% of the total number of accidents).
On the other hand, 2019 data show that the second-most frequent type of accident was less severe (4-6 days absence from work). These less severe types of accidents (4-6 days absence from work) were the third-most frequent type of accident in 2020 (455,924; 17% of the total accidents).
The least frequent types of accidents by severity in 2020 were fatal, amounting to 3,355 or 0.1% of the total number of accidents) compared with 3,408 fatal accidents recorded in 2019.
The second less frequent type of accidents were those that resulted in permanent incapacity to work or 183 days or more of absence from work 117,700 cases or 4% of the total number of accidents) in 2020 compared with 139,482 such accidents in 2019.
The severity of almost half of work accidents in Cyprus is unknown
The severity of a significant amount of work-related accidents in Cyprus is not specified in the data (this concerns 710 accidents out of a total of 1,527 in 2020). The accidents for which no severity is specified was the first category both in 2020 as well as in 2019 (when 904 out of a total of 2,168 accidents were of unspecified severity).
For the sake of comparison, in 2020 in the EU there were 142,415 work accidents of unspecified severity out of 2.7 million accidents (third smallest category) and 110,535 out of a total of 3.1 million in 2019 (second smallest category).
The second most common category of work-related accidents in Cyprus in 2020 was the one that led to seven to 13 days of absence from work (259 accidents compared to 409 in 2019), followed by the one to three months category (196 accidents compared to 230 in 2019).
The two least common categories in Cyprus were fatal accidents (16 in 2020, 10 in 2019) and those causing permanent incapacity or absence of 183 days or over (5 in 2020, 11 in 2019)