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A great deal of suffering and high costs

Professional association of the building industry: Comparatively high number of accidents

Absturzsicherung BG Bau

Prevention is better than aftercare - and above all it is cheaper. "Build on security. Build on yourself" - this is the prevention program of the Employer's Liability Insurance Association of the Construction Industry (BG BAU). The number of accidents on construction sites is comparatively high.

How many accidents occurred on construction sites last year? The official accident figures for the year 2019 are not yet available, as the BG Bau has now announced on request. But tendencies are already apparent: According to these, the number of accidents at work will be "roughly as high" as in 2018, when just under 129,000 work-related and commuting accidents were registered.

The BG Bau sees this as a "good sign". The number of insured employees rose by 102,597 last year, which means that the number of work-related accidents per 1,000 persons actually fell slightly. There is a key figure for this: TPQ - the thousand person quota.


Accident rate twice as high

As far as the TPQ is concerned, "we are seeing a slow but steady decline", according to BG Bau. But: "We are still concerned about the fact that our TPQ is still more than twice as high as the average for the entire German commercial sector and that the number of serious and fatal fall accidents is a major focus.

In fact, the TPQ in 2018 was 24.91 in the entire industrial economy - which means there were just under 25 accidents per 1000 employees. In the construction industry, however, the TPQ is 53.07. Consequently, 53 accidents per 1000 employees were counted. This means that around one in 19 employees has an accident in the construction industry.

"Alarming figures"

Already in May of this year - followed by another press release in June - BG Bau pointed out "alarming figures in construction". After all, from mid-March to the end of April, 15 people had already died on German construction sites. In the first five months of this year, as many as 40 fatal accidents occurred on construction sites - according to the BG Bau, this is almost 20 percent more than last year, when exactly 88 fatalities were reported on construction sites (also 88 in 2017).

Almost half of the fatal accidents this year can be attributed to falls from heights or falls through. Cause: Violations of occupational safety regulations. Problems are also caused by "a lack of risk awareness and negligence on the part of some employees," according to the BG Bau.

"Say STOP as a matter of course"

On request, the Employer's Liability Insurance Association states: "The high number of serious and fatal fall accidents not only causes a lot of suffering among those affected and their relatives, but also enormous costs for rehabilitation and compensation". It is important "to achieve a rethink among all those involved. Safety and health at work must become a matter of course for everyone involved. Each and every one must "STOP as a matter of course if there is an acute danger to life and health".

And Corona? In fact, according to BG Bau, the pandemic is also causing "stress in many different ways" for all those involved in construction. In addition to the often personal involvement, the "usual processes are often disrupted", including delivery, safety coordination, car pooling and other things. Furthermore, "additional measures" because of the coronavirus have to be taken, i.e. health and hygiene. Furthermore, building owners, companies and employees are also threatened by financial problems.

1st place: skin cancer

BG Bau therefore began very early on to develop and publish support offers for companies. Nevertheless, BG Bau does not rule out "the possibility that the topic of occupational safety and health is overshadowed by the corona virus".

Incidentally, the most frequent occupational disease reported by BG Bau last year was white skin cancer (2944 cases). Cause: increasing UV radiation and longer periods of heat. In second and third place are noise and lung cancer caused by asbestos.


The BG Bau

BG BAU is the statutory accident insurance for the construction industry and construction-related services and is thus an important pillar of the German social security system. It looks after about 2.8 million insured persons in about 500,000 companies and about 50,000 private construction projects. As part of its statutory mandate, BG BAU also promotes occupational safety and health protection at the workplace in order to prevent accidents at work and occupational diseases. If accidents at work and occupational illnesses do occur, BG BAU provides comprehensive medical care and rehabilitation by all appropriate means, ensures the reintegration of those affected and provides financial compensation. Further information is available at www.bgbau.de.

Author: Patrick Fritsch | Date: 1 July 2020

About Arbeitsschutz Aktuell

Arbeitsschutz Aktuell with its trade fair and conference is taking place at Messe Stuttgart from 6 to 8 October 2020. The theme of the three-day conference is “Working safely and healthily”. Over 10,000 visitors, 300 exhibitors and 1,000 conference participants from Germany, Austria and Switzerland are expected to attend Arbeitsschutz Aktuell 2020 in Stuttgart. Fachvereinigung Arbeitssicherheit e.V. (German Joint Association of Safety Engineers and Safety Inspectors – FASI) is the conference sponsor. FASI is the umbrella organisation for the three associations Verein Deutscher Gewerbeaufsichtsbeamter (Association of German Factory Inspectors – VDGAB), Verein Deutscher Revisions-Ingenieure (German Association of Inspection Engineering – VDRI) and Verband für Sicherheit, Gesundheit und Umweltschutz bei der Arbeit (Association for Safety, Health and Environmental Protection at Work – VDSI). Arbeitsschutz Aktuell has been organized by HINTE Messe- und Ausstellungs-GmbH since it was founded in 1972.

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