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Keywords:

  • occupational injuries;
  • fatalities at work;
  • commuting deaths;
  • compensation claims;
  • years of potential life lost;
  • surveillance

Abstract

Background

Insufficient use is made of available information about workplace and commuting accidents covered by social insurance workers compensation funds in France. We sought to determine whether these data could be used to calculate national indicators for surveillance of fatal occupational injuries for 2002–2004.

Methods

We calculated the number of deaths, mortality rate, and years of potential life lost from workplace and commuting accidents (by sex, age, economic activity, and cause of accident) for employees by collecting data from eight social insurance funds in France. The number of deaths, the mortality rates, and the attributable fraction of accidental deaths due to work were estimated for both employees and self-employed workers.

Results

The mean annual number of employee deaths from workplace and commuting accidents reached 1,330 in 2002–2004. The mortality rate from workplace accidents (6.0 per 100,000) increased with age among men and was especially high in three sectors: agriculture–forestry–fishing, transportation, and construction.Overall, for employees and the self-employed combined, the mean annual number of deaths from workplace and commuting accidents was estimated at 1,557 (95% CI: 1,478–1,640). The attributable fraction of accidental deaths due to work for those aged 15–59 years was estimated at almost 20% among men.

Conclusions

Despite data limitations, it was possible to calculate previously unknown national indicators of fatal workplace and commuting accidents and to compare them with other work-related health problems. These results are consistent with those observed in comparable industrialized countries. Am. J. Ind. Med. 53:1109–1118, 2010. © 2010 Wiley-Liss, Inc.