Absence from work due to occupational and non-occupational accidents

Kirsten Jørgensen, Bjarne Laursen

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    Aims: The aim of the present study was to investigate absence from work in Denmark due to occupational and non-occupational accidents. Background: Since the beginning of the last decade, political focus has been placed on the population’s working capacity and the scope of absence due to illness. Absence from work is estimated at between 3% and 6% of working hours in the EU and costs are estimated at approximately 2.5% of GNP. Methods: Victims of accidents treated at two emergency departments were interviewed regarding absence for the injured, the family and others. All answers were linked to the hospital information on the injury, so that it was possible to examine the relation between absence and injury type, and cause of the accident. Results: In total, 1,479 injured persons were interviewed. 36% of these reported absence from work by themselves or others. In mean, an injury caused 3.21 days of absence. Based on this the total absence due to injuries in Denmark was estimated to 1,822,000 workdays, corresponding to approximately 6% of the total absence from work due to all types of illness. Non-occupational injuries resulted in more absence than did occupational injuries. Conclusions: Absence due to accidents contributed to a considerable part of the total absence from work, and non-occupational accidents caused more absence than did occupational accidents.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalScandinavian Journal of Public Health
    Issue number1
    Pages (from-to)18-24
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


    • Absence from work
    • Occupational and non-occupational accidents
    • Type of accidents
    • Type of injury


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