Study-Related Work and Commuting Accidents among Students at the University of Mainz from 12/2012 to 12/2018: Identification of Potential Risk Groups and Implications for Prevention

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 May 23;17(10):3676. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17103676.


Background: Universities represent an important setting of everyday life for health promotion. The aim of the present study was to assess whether university students of specific disciplines might have an increased risk for having a study-related work accident and to analyze what types of study-related work accidents occur most frequently. Furthermore, knowledge regarding study-related commuting accidents will be provided by identifying places where study-related commuting accidents might occur most frequently and on potential types of commuting (walking vs. biking) which might be associated with an increased risk for having a study-related commuting accident.

Methods: Retrospective analyses of a dataset provided by the Accident Insurance Fund of Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany, including all accidents that happened at the University of Mainz (JGU) between December 2012 and December 2018 were performed. Binominal tests were computed to reveal whether the frequency of study-related work accidents in students affiliated with a specific faculty or institution differs significantly from the expected frequency of all reported study-related work accidents.

Results: Overall, 1285 study-related accidents were analyzed-of which, 71.8% were work and 28.2% commuting accidents. Students of 'Faculty-Medicine' (80.5%; p = 0.003), 'Faculty-Chemistry, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Geography and Geosciences' (90.7%; p < 0.001), and students that participated in study-related sports activities (97.4%; p ≤ 0.001) had a significantly increased risk for the occurrence of a study-related work accident. Needlestick and sharps injuries (NSIs) as well as lab accidents play a pivotal role. Furthermore, above 40% of the study-related commuting accidents were cycling accidents.

Conclusions: There is a call for prevention in order to decrease the number of NSIs among medical students, lab accidents as well as sport-related accidents. Concrete implications for prevention are discussed in the present paper. In addition, given that students are among the most likely to bicycle, and given that most bicycle-related accidents involve fatal injuries, cycling safety campaigns need to be initiated on campus.

Keywords: accident; campus; college; epidemiology; injury; student; student health.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents*
  • Accidents, Occupational
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Germany
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Students
  • Transportation*
  • Universities
  • Young Adult