In 2022, 1,920 accidents at work were investigated, in which a total of 2,179 people were injured. For comparison, a year earlier there were 2,104 accidents, and 2,294 people were injured in them – informed the Chief Labor Inspectorate. The largest group of victims comes from construction and industrial processing.
The employer is obliged to immediately notify the regional labor inspector and the prosecutor competent for the place of the incident about a fatal, serious or collective accident at work.
Accidents at work in recent years
In 2022, the NLI examined a total of 1,920 accidents at work, in which 2,179 people were injured. Of these, 686 were seriously injured and 247 resulted in the death of a worker. In turn, in 2021, a total of 2,104 accidents were recorded, in which 2,294 people suffered. Accidents resulted in severe injuries for 766 employees and death for 289. In 2020, the NLI examined a total of 2016 accidents at work. 2,236 people were injured, including 733 seriously. 274 accidents resulted in the death of an employee. The victims of accidents examined by labor inspectors in 2022 most often worked in the following plants: industrial processing – 34.9 percent. (in 2021 – 38.0 percent; in 2020 – 35.3 percent), construction – 24.5 percent. (in 2021 – 26.1 percent, in 2020 – 26.6 percent) and trade and repairs – 9.4 percent. (in 2021 – 9.2 percent, in 2020 – 8.8 percent).
Accidents at work in 2023
Recently, the National Labor Inspectorate has reported dozens of accidents at work that took place from April to June 2023. In the province of Warmińsko-Mazurskie Voivodship, on the construction site, during work in the excavation, the employee was covered with earth. The doctor who arrived at the scene pronounced the victim dead. At the sawmill in the province in the Pomeranian Voivodeship, an employee fed the boards to the multi-saw. During the feeding of the wooden element, the cut detail was recoiled. The thrown plank pierced the man’s abdomen. The victim suffered minor injuries as a result of the incident.
In turn, in the province Lublin, in the groats plant, in the process of roasting buckwheat, the basket with buckwheat broke off and a person working nearby was covered with several tons of the heated product. As a result of the incident, the worker died on the spot. In Silesia, in the vestibule of the church, an employee was standing on the scaffolding preparing the ceiling for painting. While working, he fell from the scaffolding from a height of about 2 meters to the floor. As a result of the incident, the victim suffered a spinal injury.
Actions taken by the National Labor Inspectorate
NLI reminds about the initiated and implemented actions aimed at improving the situation. These are control, supervisory and preventive activities, raising the awareness of all participants of the work process. One of the activities of the National Labor Inspectorate, aimed at reducing the number of accidents at work, is the “Strategy of inspection and prevention in construction” implemented in the years 2022-2024. The main assumption of the strategy is the synergistic impact of inspections on large and small construction sites, combined with extensive preventive measures and promoting safe work in this sector. Starting from January 2022, scheduled inspections and identification of training needs and opportunities began among the recipients of NLI’s activities – employers, employees and persons responsible for safe and hygienic working conditions. Inspection and supervision activities carried out as part of the 3-year “Strategy of control and prevention in construction” will focus on accident hazards related primarily to the performance of work at height, including scaffolding and ladders, as well as hazards during earthworks, including the use of construction machinery and technical equipment as well as during excavation work. Also in the industrial processing sector, in 2022, several control, supervision and prevention programs were implemented, aimed at improving working conditions. These include inspections of compliance by machines and devices with safety and health requirements dictated by EU directives and regulations as well as national regulations, reducing occupational hazards in workplaces using chemical substances and mixtures, increased supervision over workplaces where a high level of occupational hazards is observed and accidents. “However, in order to achieve lasting improvement in the general compliance with OSH regulations, it is particularly important to directly involve employers in the occupational health and safety management process. The most important thing is the awareness that the area commonly referred to as OHS is as important an aspect of the company’s operation as financial liquidity, expanding markets and development of the company” – emphasizes PIP.
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