The impact of the economic crisis on occupational injuries

J Safety Res. 2014 Feb;48:77-85. doi: 10.1016/j.jsr.2013.12.007. Epub 2014 Jan 3.


Introduction: The potential influence of the current economic crisis on occupational accident rates and accident severity is studied in an analysis of all workplace accidents that occurred in Spain throughout the period 2000-2009.

Method and results: The investigation confirms that occupational accidents in Spain are affected by the current economic crisis, which has provoked a sharp fall in both the number of accidents and the probability of having one. This may be justified by certain factors such as age, gender, length of service, size of the firm, and the employment stability of the injured worker. The influence of these factors is analyzed.

Practical applications: The economic crises seems to provoke a sort of "natural selection" in the labor market and only the best adapted tend to remain (older workers, with more experience, a higher percentage of women, more workers in larger companies and permanent contracts), all of which means that the probability of workers having an injury is considerably reduced.

Keywords: Accidents; Economic crisis; Injuries; Severity; Unemployment.

MeSH terms

  • Data Interpretation, Statistical
  • Economic Recession*
  • Employment / psychology*
  • Employment / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Occupational Health / trends
  • Occupational Injuries / epidemiology*
  • Occupational Injuries / etiology
  • Occupational Injuries / mortality
  • Risk Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Spain / epidemiology
  • Unemployment