Reporting of industrial accidents in The Netherlands

Am J Epidemiol. 1998 Jul 15;148(2):182-90. doi: 10.1093/oxfordjournals.aje.a009622.


The true number of industrial accidents followed by absence from work in the Netherlands in 1993 has been estimated by using a capture-recapture approach. A government safety register noted 29,685 cases reported by Dutch companies. The statutory organization that insures employees of the same companies against absence from work for medical reasons (but does not provide special compensation for disability due to accidents at work) noted 19,397 cases for which absence control visits revealed an occupational injury to be the cause of the absence. These two registers showed an overlap of 5,881 matched cases. Assuming them to be independent and capture probability to be homogeneously distributed, the authors obtained a crude estimate of 97,909 accidents. Two methods for correcting this crude estimate are presented. The first method is logistic modeling of the data using age, sex, branch of industry, number of work sites, size of workforce, and seriousness of injury as explanatory variables to allow for heterogeneity in capture probabilities. Applying the model coefficients of these characteristics to the 43,201 distinct cases noted in both registers, we obtained an estimate of 97,524 accidents. Second, knowledge of the reporting and registration procedures utilized by the two sources was used to obtain an estimate of source bias. Errors in recording date of birth and differences between the two registries precluded matching of a number of overlapping cases, accounting for 16.9% overestimation of the true number, corresponding to 83,283 accidents and a government capture rate of 35.6%.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Absenteeism
  • Accidents, Occupational / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adult
  • Bias
  • Data Collection / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Netherlands
  • Registries
  • Time Factors