Two people die at work every day in France: what are the most dangerous situations?

The government is launching a national campaign to try to stop the phenomenon.

On May 5, a 62-year-old worker lost his life after being hit on the head by a metal beam on the construction site of a car wash in Montpellier. On July 26, an employee died, absorbed by a machine in a sorting center in Nîmes. Workplace accidents fuel the chronicle of news stories throughout the year.

Every day, more than 100 people are seriously injured and two are killed in the exercise of their profession in France. A phenomenon that the government is unable to stop.

What are the main risks identified?

That’s the whole point of the prevention campaign launched on Monday, by the Minister of Labor. Olivier Dussopt wants to create an “electroshock”, by appealing to employers, workers, but also the general public, with a spot which will resonate, from this Tuesday, in the media.

“This campaign aims to promote and strengthen a culture of risk prevention in the professional environment, and to make the prevention of workplace accidents a concern fully integrated into the life of companies. Accidents at work must no longer be inevitable,” explains the Minister of Labor, Olivier Dussopt.

Nearly 700 deaths per year

According to the latest data from the Cnam and the MSA, there were 640,000 work accidents in 2021, including 39,000 serious and 696 fatal. Occitanie is one of the most exposed regions (viticulture, construction, etc.), we explain to Aipals, a prevention and occupational health service, in Montpellier.

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

“Serious and fatal workplace accidents are a priority in the region of the Regional Occupational Health Plan,” underlines the director, Diane Laruel, who considers this national campaign “necessary”.

Employees who are just starting out

In France, “a significant drop in the number of serious and fatal workplace accidents has been recorded thanks to the actions taken, but since 2010, a floor seems to have been reached,” she observes.

With a trend identified by the government. “Temporary, seconded workers and young people (apprentices, interns, new hires)” are among the most exposed, explains the Ministry of Labor.

Half the risk for young people who have been made aware

“15% of serious and fatal workplace accidents occur during the first three months following hiring, and 25% of workplace accidents concern employees with less than one year of seniority in the company,” confirms the Aipals, in Montpellier.

“Young people who leave school, having benefited from prevention training, have half the risk of having a work accident,” explains Diane Laruel. Training is therefore essential.

France is a bad student in Europe

The main risks are identified: 44% of work accidents are linked to manual handling, 33% are falls. With a rate of 4.81 serious and fatal work accidents per 100,000 employees, France is even considered a bad student in Europe (2.17 on average), but the comparison is distorted, the calculation and declaration methods varying from one country to another.

Beyond the figures, “is it still tolerable in 2023 to die from your work in France?” asks Diane Laruel.

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