Work accident victims: a comparison between non-standard and standard workers in Belgium

Int J Occup Environ Health. 2016 Apr;22(2):99-106. doi: 10.1080/10773525.2016.1168588. Epub 2016 Apr 19.


Background: The fast growth of non-standard employment in developed countries highlights the importance of studying the influence of contract type on worker's safety and health.

Objective: The main purpose of our study is to investigate whether non-standard workers are more injured than standard workers or not. Additionally, other risk factors for occupational accidents are investigated.

Methods: Data from the Belgian surveys on work ability in 2009 and 2011 are used. During their annual occupational health examination, workers were asked to fill in a self-administered questionnaire. In total, 1886 complete responses are collected and analyzed using logistic regression.

Results: Temporary workers did not have higher injury rates than permanent workers [OR 0.5, 95% confidence interval 0.2-1.2]. Low-educated, less-experienced workers and those exposed to dangerous conditions are more frequent victims of occupational accidents.

Conclusion: The present data do not support the hypothesis that non-standard workers have more injuries than standard workers. Our results about occupational accidents derived from a non-representative sample of the Belgian workforce and cannot be generalized due to the heterogeneity in job organization and labor regulations between countries. Further research is needed to extend our findings and to seek other factors that may be associated with work accidents.

Keywords: Belgium; Non-standard work; Occupational injuries; Work accident.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Occupational / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adult
  • Belgium / epidemiology
  • Educational Status
  • Employment / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Health
  • Odds Ratio
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires