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Abstract.  This paper analyses the effect of contract type on the rate of work-related accidents in Italy and Spain, using the 1999 Labour Force Survey ‘ad hoc module’. We find that, once personal and job characteristics of workers are controlled for, the differences in the probability of suffering a work accident between open-ended and temporary workers vanish. Furthermore, following a novel decomposition analysis by Yun, we obtain that personal and job characteristics tend to increase the probability of having an accident for temporary workers, but the specific influence of contract type favours the latter, who show a lower probability on this account.