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Safety and Health at Work - Reporting Year 2021 - Report on Accident Prevention at Work

(in German)

Every four years the Safety and Health at Work report is produced in an expanded, particularly comprehensive format - as has been done for the 2021 reporting year. Apart from the data included each year on accidents at work, occupational diseases, working conditions, incapacity for work, pension, et cetera, this report therefore offers a broad overview of selected developments, activities, and research projects in the field of occupational safety and health.

In the 2021 reporting year the number of notifiable occupational accidents was 865,609, so approximately 5 % higher than the previous year, but still distinctly less than during the period prior to the pandemic (2019: 937,456). In consequence, at 20.6, the accident rate per 1,000 insured individuals for the 2021 reporting year ended up being between that for 2020 (19.4) and that for 2019 (21.9). At 628 deaths, by contrast, fatal occupational accidents reached the same level as in 2019 (626). This figure was considerably lower in 2020 at 508. It needs to be borne in mind, however, that ninety-one fatal accidents connected with SARS-CoV-2 were recorded in 2021. There is also an explanation for the high number of accidents in 2019: eighty-four cases from the years 2000 to 2005 were included in the statistics that year following the conclusion of a criminal prosecution. The number of notifiable commuting accidents was 173,039, between the levels recorded in the two preceding years (2020: 154,817; 2019: 188,827). By contrast, fatal commuting accidents carried on becoming less frequent. After 242 fatalities in the preceding year, 2021 saw 234 people lose their lives in accidents on the way to or from work - a continuation of the noticeable decline since 2019 (312).

The situation with regard to occupational diseases was still dominated by the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. For instance, notifications of suspected occupational diseases doubled to 232,206, making them markedly more common than in 2020 (111,055) and 2019 (84,853). Looking at the development of infectious diseases (OD-No. 3101) over the last three years, it rapidly becomes evident they were the driving force behind these increases (2021: 153,755; 2020: 33,595; 2019: 1,898). The trend was similar when it came to recognised occupational diseases, which rose from 20,422 to 39,551, then 126,213. Here too, the increases could be accounted for mainly by growing infectious disease rates (OD-No. 3101; 2021: 102,322; 2020: 18,959; 2019: 782). As in previous years almost two-thirds of the 2,559 deaths due to occupational diseases were caused by asbestos-related conditions (1,652; 65 %).

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 (2022): Safety and Health at Work - Reporting Year 2021, downloaded from”. If possible, the authors responsible are to be credited when articles on specific topics in the report are cited, for example “Pipke, R. (2022): ‘Aktuelle Entwicklungen in den Arbeitsschutzausschüssen des Bundesministeriums für Arbeit und Soziales (BMAS)’, in BMAS/BAuA: Safety and Health at Work - Reporting Year 2021, pp. 18-27”.

An accessible version of the report is available for download here. This PDF edition has been designed with additional features that make it easier to work with the data in the tables and diagrams. The statistics provided are directly embedded in the document as Excel tables for this purpose. These features will only function fully if the corresponding buttons are activated on page II of the PDF. 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 2021"

Bibliographic information

Sicherheit und Gesundheit bei der Arbeit - Berichtsjahr 2021
1. edition. Dortmund: Bundesanstalt für Arbeitsschutz und Arbeitsmedizin 2022. 
ISBN: 978-3-88261-747-4, pages 361, PDF file, DOI: 10.21934/baua:bericht20220718

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