Last year 14 workplace accidents occurred per day

Today the Labour Inspectorate will present to the Riigikogu an overview of last year’s labour environment in Estonia. In the course of last year a total of 5,184 workplace accidents occurred, i.e. 14 workplace accidents per day. Nine people lost their lives at work.

Of the 5,184 workplace accidents registered last year, 4,058 accidents resulted in employees sustaining only minor injuries. 1,117 employees were severely injured and nine people died. The primary workplace accident risk group comprises men aged 23-34. Most of the accidents happened in the metal industry, national defence and trade. A total of 7,464 certificates of incapacity for work were issued last year due to workplace accidents. The compensation totalled 4.4 million euros. The most accident-prone locations were Tallinn, Harju County and Tartu County. Most accidents abroad involving employees from Estonia occurred in Finland.

According to Maret Maripuu, Director-General of the Labour Inspectorate, the growing numbers of severe workplace accidents indicate that our safety culture is still in a rudimentary state. “The analysis results show that the proportion of severe workplace accidents increased substantially over the year: after such accidents the injured employees are unable to continue working. This means that the employer, the state and society on the whole incur certain expenses. That is in addition to the damage suffered by the injured persons and their loved ones,” said she. “A study of the workplace accidents has confirmed that almost all these accidents could have been prevented. Accident prevention is simple: the employer must enforce safety rules and the employees must adhere to them. Last year we noticed that more and more employers are assessing and reducing working environment risks. We hope to see this trend continuing this year,” Maret Maripuu added.

In 2017 there were approximately 699,000 people active in the labour market in Estonia. The Labour Inspectorate conducts supervision of those enterprises that have at least one employee with a contract of employment or where management board members are also employees. Last year there were 54,652 such enterprises. Trade, construction and real estate spheres had the highest numbers of active enterprises.

The Labour Inspectorate will present its overview of the labour environment to the Riigikogu at the joint session of the social and economic affairs committees at the conference hall of the Riigikogu on 6 March at 14:00. This is a public session and you can follow it live on the Riigikogu website: The labour environment overview is available here.