Germany Experienced Rise in Occupational Fatalities in 2010

Germany's latest occupational safety and health annual report shows that the country experienced a 7.3 percent increase in fatal work-related injuries in 2010. Conditions including economic growth, a rise in employment, higher work intensity, speed and pressure may have led to this increase, according to the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA).

The report, released in late December 2011, also revealed that Germany had experienced a rise in commuting accidents, especially logistics, transport and courier services. While rates of occupational diseases, including skin diseases, hearing loss and musculoskeletal disorders (particularly lower back issues) increased, fatal occupational diseases decreased significantly, EU-OSHA added.

The report also examined the state of occupational health and safety in the public sector, revealing that these workers were more likely to work on Sundays, holidays and on call. The report also indicated that public sector employees more often had high workloads and had to carry out new tasks, make frequent changes to work procedures, conduct simultaneous tasks and perform new tasks without training.

Finally, the report focused on the health and safety impacts of workplace restructuring. According to the report, supervisors and workers who remained after restructuring endured high work pressure, intensity and the pressure to work quickly. These employees and supervisors suffered increased stress and related health disorders, including sleeping problems, fatigue, headaches and musculoskeletal disorders.

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