Work accident rates fell in the first quarter

Work accident rates fell in the first quarter

The Occupational Safety and Health Observatory, of the Colombian Safety Council (CCS)presented the most recent report on workplace accidents, which shows a reduction in the numbers of work accidents, occupational diseases and deaths from work-related causes.

(Workplace accidents cost $2 billion in 2021 to companies).

“These figures that we present below are essential to have an idea of ​​the effects on the working conditions to which workers in Colombia are exposed and of the labor dynamics of the economic sectors. In turn, this information supposes a diagnosis that allows the different actors to make decisions from normative, technical and academic aspects, with the common purpose of preserving the life and integrity of workers and contributing to the construction of safe work environments. and healthy”, said Adriana Solano, executive president of the CCS.


During the first quarter of 2022, there were 111,396 work accidents, with a rate of 0.99 accidents per 100 workers; and an average of 1,252 accidents per day.

The ‘Real estate’ sector presented the largest number of cases, with 20,237, followed by the ‘Manufacturing industry’, with 17,753. In turn, the sectors that presented the highest accident rate were ‘Mines and quarries’ and ‘Agriculture, livestock, hunting and forestry’, with 2.80 and 2.76 events per 100 workers, respectively.

(Labor accidents increased by more than 30 thousand in the first semester).

Regarding the geographical distribution of the accident rate, the departments that presented the highest accident rate were, in that order, Magdalena (1.47) and Meta and Caldas (each with 1.41). Bogotá, for its part, reported the highest number of events with a total of 33,592 work accidents, followed by Antioquia with 23,823..

It should be noted that, compared to the first quarter of 2021, there is an 11% reduction in the total number of reported accidents.


Regarding occupational diseases, the report shows that between January and March 2022, 15,268 qualified diseases were reported, with an average of 172 daily events. This indicator had a percentage increase of 1.1% compared to the same quarter of the previous year. However, the rate of qualified illnesses per 100,000 workers for the same period compared fell, from 146.1 in 2021 to 135.7 in 2022.

The sector that presented the highest rate of qualified occupational disease was ‘Health and social services’, with a rate of 1,593.9 per 100,000 workers, which far exceeds the national rate. Likewise, it was the sector that registered the highest number of qualified diseases with a total of 12,348 cases, which represents 81% of the total reported during the quarter. This is equivalent to an increase of 19% compared to the same period in 2021.

Cesar was the department that presented the highest occupational disease rate, with 816.2 qualified diseases per 100,000 workers, followed by La Guajira with 670.6. For its part, Bogotá DC reported the highest number of qualified occupational diseases with 5028followed by Valle del Cauca, with 1,509 cases, which together represents 43% of the total events reported during the quarter.


Regarding occupational mortality, the report shows that during the first quarter of 2022 there were 110 deaths (approximately 9 lives lost per week), with a quarterly rate of 0.98 deaths per 100,000 workers, being lower in relation to the same period of the previous year when it stood at 1.43.

It should be noted that the number of qualified deaths due to occupational accidents corresponds to 88% of the total qualified deaths (97 due to occupational accidents and 13 due to occupational diseases). When comparing this indicator with the same quarter of 2021, Qualified deaths due to occupational disease were reduced by 69%, while deaths due to work accidents revealed a reduction of 8%.

(Work accidents fell 28.4% in 2020, due to the pandemic).

The sectors with the highest mortality rates per 100,000 workers were ‘Mining and quarrying’ (9.57, exceeding almost 10 times the national rate) and ‘Electricity, gas and water’ (4.73, five times above the national rate). . However, the sectors that reported the highest number of events were ‘Real estate’ and ‘Mines and quarries’, with 32 and 16 deaths, respectively. Together, they represent 44% of the total number of occupational deaths reported in the period analyzed.


It is important to point out that the country had a tendency to reduce its accident figures before the pandemic; however, during 2021 the figures increased, which shows us that in the economic reactivation, efforts must be redoubled to strengthen the health and care conditions of workers. In 2021, the number of work accidents grew by 14% compared to 2020 and the number of fatal events reached figures not recorded since 2016.

From the CCS a call is made to continue maintaining the care of workers as a priority. You are invited to review and update the Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems (SG-SST), to identify personnel training needs, as well as to determine investment needs that strengthen the protection of each collaborator.

“Spaces such as the 55th Congress on Safety, Health and Environment become technical-academic scenarios that can contribute to this purpose, in which the country’s preventionist companies and leaders meet to address the main global trends in Safety, Health at Work. and Environment and the latest updates in legislation on SST and environment. Therefore, from the Colombian Security Council we extend a special invitation to all those interested in promoting a culture of prevention in Colombia. The appointment is from June 29 to July 1 in Bogotá or through virtual modality “affirmed Adriana Solano Luque, president of the CCS.

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