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Safety and Health at Work - Reporting Year 2020 - Report on Accident Prevention at Work

(in German)

The report Safety and Health at Work - Reporting Year 2020, which has been produced by the Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (Bundesanstalt für Arbeitsschutz und Arbeitsmedizin, BAuA) on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (Bundesministerium für Arbeit und Soziales, BMAS), gives an overview of various issues relating to the world of work in a tried-and-tested format. It provides data on topics such as accidents at work, occupational diseases, retirement, incapacity for work, and working conditions. At the same time it would not be possible to discuss developments in occupational safety and health during 2020 without referring to the corona pandemic.

This year’s focus section features an in-depth discussion of “low-skilled work” and the “minimum wage”, while the remarks on low-skilled work, in particular, are underpinned by the statistics on this topic included elsewhere in the report.

Apart from the rise of the home office, the world of work was dominated during the year under review by short-time working and the temporary closure of many organisations. The reduced amounts of time employees spent at their workplaces or travelling to and from work are clearly reflected in the accident statistics. 2020 saw 12.3% fewer notifiable occupational accidents (822,588; 2019: 937,456) and 18.0% fewer notifiable commuting accidents (154,817; 2019: 188,827). The figures for fatal occupational and commuting accidents were also about one-fifth lower than the previous year. Protracted school closures meant similar trends were also evident from the statistics on accidents suffered by pupils.

It is possible for COVID-19 to be recognised as an occupational disease when diagnosed in employees who work in the health sector, social welfare, and laboratories, as well as people whose jobs expose them to similar risks of infection. In consequence, there were clear rises in notifications of suspected occupational diseases (111,055; +30.9%) and recognised cases (39,551; +93.7%). This development is even more clearly apparent from the numbers for infectious diseases (OD-No. 3101), which were several times higher than in the preceding year at 33,595 notifications (2019: 1,898) and 18,959 recognised cases (2019: 782).

Please note that the reproduction and dissemination of these figures are only permitted provided their source is acknowledged. When quoted in publications of all kinds (book contributions, articles, lectures, etc.), this report must always be cited as follows: “BMAS/BAuA (2021): Safety and Health at Work - Reporting Year 2020, downloaded from”.

An accessible version of the report is also available for download. This PDF edition has been designed with additional features that make it easier to utilise the data in the tables and diagrams. The statistics provided are directly embedded in the document as Excel tables for this purpose. The content of the text sections and the annexes is saved in accessible Word files attached to the parent PDF. Graphics and tables have been linked with the corresponding Excel tables. This may result in better readability if a text-to-speech tool is used. The Word files will only function correctly if all attached files are saved separately from the parent document and kept in a single folder. To ensure all features and view options can be used, the reader should not display the document in a web browser (with a PDF plug-in), but save it to their hard drive, then open it with either Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat. PDF viewers supplied by other software developers may not be able to display or open the attached files.

Please download the complete report (in German) "Safety and Health at Work - Reporting Year 2020"

Bibliographic information

Sicherheit und Gesundheit bei der Arbeit - Berichtsjahr 2020. 
1. edition. Dortmund: Bundesanstalt für Arbeitsschutz und Arbeitsmedizin 2021. 
ISBN: 978-3-88261-742-9, pages 228, PDF file, DOI: 10.21934/baua:bericht20211201

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