Accidents at work
Updated: 3 October 2022
Next update: Not yet determined
About the statistics
Statistics on reported accidents at work, and fatal accidents at work. The statistics are sorted by industry, and are based on data from claim forms sent from employers to NAV. Statistics on fatal accidents at work are based on figures from national supervisory authorities.
Employed person is defined as persons who perform at least one hour of income-generating work during the reference week.
Short absence is defined as a period of three days or less. This includes cases that do not lead to any absence.
Long absence is defined as a period of more than three days. This includes permanent absence, e.g. in the case of fatal accidents at work.
Injuries per 1 000 employed: the size of the industry has an impact on the number of incidents reported. Large industries, such as the health and social care sector, will naturally generate a larger number of work injuries. The statistics are therefore presented relative to the size of the industry, i.e. per 1 000 employed in the respective industry.
Gender disparities: there is a substantial gender differential in the Norwegian labour market; some industries have a large share of female workers (e.g. health and social work, education), while others have a high share of male workers (e.g. agriculture, forestry and fishing, manufacturing, construction). Different industries have different incidence rates when it comes to accidents at work with regard to frequency of injuries and length of work absence following the incident. The gender differential must be borne in mind when interpreting differences in accident at work rates between industries.
Name: Accidents at work
Division for Health, care and social statistics
The statistics are based on reports sent to NAV by employers, combined with register data from Statistics Norway. The relevant inspection authorities supply data on fatal accidents at work.
The statistics aim to provide an overview of reported accidents at work in Norway. They are intended to cover all economic activity, and provide information on the incidence of accidents at work in Norway.
Users: government, organisations, researchers, students, journalists, the public.
Applications: knowledge base, research and investigation, education and public debate.
In the survey on living conditions (LKU) regarding the working environment, which is conducted every three years, respondents are asked if they have had a work-related injury in the last 12 months. The Labour Force Survey (LFS, AKU in Norwegian) occasionally includes supplementary questions regarding accidents at work; most recently in 2013 and 2008. The surveys are completed by a sample of the population, and the results are not therefore directly comparable to statistics based on accidents at work reported to NAV.
The Statistics Act §§ 2-1 and 3-2.
Regulations (EC) 1338/2008 and (EU) 349/2011.
The population consists of employed persons aged 15 to 74 years.
In order for the injury to be approved by NAV as an accident at work, the employed person must be covered by occupational injury insurance. Most employed persons have compulsory occupational injury insurance through their employer. Self-employed persons and freelance workers can take out occupational injury insurance voluntarily (this means voluntarily joining the National Insurance Scheme, NIS).
The statistics are based on reports of accidents at work sent to NAV in a given calendar year. This means that accidents and injuries may occur without being reported to NAV, for various reasons. Furthermore, injuries reported in year t may have happened prior to year t, i.e. in year t-1, t-2, etc.
Employed persons who do not have occupational injury insurance and therefore do not submit reports of accidents at work to NAV are not included in the statistics. Since most employed persons have compulsory occupational injury insurance this will mainly apply to self-employed persons and freelancers who choose not to join the NIS. Industries with relatively high shares of self-employed persons are farming, fishing and forestry. These industries also have a relatively high risk of accidents at work but they will not be reported to NAV if the self-employed person does not have occupational injury insurance.
This is different for fatal accidents at work; all fatal accidents at work have to be reported, by law, to the respective inspection authority.
Main sources are claim forms for accidents at work. Different forms apply to different groups of industries (land (including aviation), sea, petroleum). The claim forms are sent to NAV by traditional mail (on paper), where they are scanned and processed. The scanned forms are transferred to Statistics Norway as image files (tiff), together with a corresponding csv file, through a secure file transfer protocol (SFTP). The csv file contains essential information such as the injured person’s national identity number and the date of injury.
Information on industry affiliation at the time of injury is taken from administrative registries. The following registries are used:
- Employers and Employees Register (2014)
- A-ordningen (from 2015 onwards)
- Establishments register (Virksomhets- og foretaksregisteret) (Statistics Norway)
Fatal accidents at work are to be reported, by law, to the respective inspection authority; Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority, Civil Aviation Authority, Petroleum Safety Authority and Norwegian Maritime Authority. Statistics Norway uses data on fatal accidents at work from these authorities to produce official statistics.
Statistics on reported accidents at work are based on claim forms sent to NAV, as well as reports of fatal accidents at work sent to the relevant inspection authorities.
Statistics Norway does not conduct any revisions of the data.
A distinction is made between accidents at work that lead to a short absence from work and accidents that lead to a long absence from work. Short absence is defined as three days or less (including cases that do not lead to any absence). Long absence is defined as more than three days (including permanent absence, e.g. in the case of fatal accidents at work).
The employer (or employee) submits a claim form describing the injury, circumstances etc. to NAV. NAV receives approximately 24 000 such claim forms each year. The injury may have happened at an earlier point in time, thus statistics for a certain calendar year (t) will include cases that occurred prior to year t (year t-1, t-2, etc.).
The forms are sent by ordinary post (on paper) and are scanned and processed at NAV. The scanned forms are sent electronically to Statistics Norway (SSB) via secure file transfer protocol (SFTP). At Statistics Norway, the scanned forms are read optically. 50 per cent of the forms were rejected in 2014 and the main reason for this seemed to be old forms (issued before 2014) submitted to NAV. NAV and Statistics Norway have taken measures to reduce the amount rejected and from 2015 onwards the amount rejected is substantially lower.
In January 2014, new forms were introduced for accidents at work. These forms include variables that are necessary for compiling statistics in accordance with Eurostat’s requirements. The forms are also designed in a way that allows for optical reading.
The forms are sent to Statistics Norway as picture files. For each picture file there is also a csv file containing the injured employee’s national identity number and the date of the accident. Combining this with register data in Statistics Norway enables the employee’s work place (SN07) at the time of injury to be identified.
There is little or no bias in the data as to industries (SN07) that submit old versus new forms. This allows for methodological imputation from the information in the forms that are successfully read (optically) to the missing data from the forms that are rejected.
The new forms explicitly ask for the number of work days assumed to be lost due to the injury. Some claimants do not provide this information when they fill out the claim form and some industries fail to report this more often than others. Random tests indicate that this mainly concerns cases where there will be no loss of work days. These cases are therefore classified together with cases that lead to short work absence, which leads to a new, estimated breakdown between injuries that lead to short or long work absence.
The new breakdown is used on the claim forms that are rejected by the optical reading program. In the new claim forms, “Unknown” is an option for assumed work days lost; the same breakdown is used on claim forms where Unknown is the chosen option.
The statistics were first released in 2015. They comprise accidents at work that were reported to NAV during the calendar year 2014 and onwards, as well as fatal accidents at work reported to the relevant inspection authority.
Accidents at work reported to NAV in a given calendar year may have happened earlier. Data for accidents at work reported prior to 2014 is available from the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority.
Statistics on fatal accidents at work cover the years from 2000 onwards.
The greatest source of uncertainty concerns the claim forms sent from NAV to Statistics Norway that cannot be read optically (and are thus rejected). NAV and Statistics Norway introduced new claim forms on 1 January 2014. The new claim forms are designed for optical reading, and also contain variables essential for compiling national statistics and for reporting to Eurostat. Fifty per cent of the claim forms sent from NAV to Statistics Norway in 2014 were rejected. Random tests indicate continued use of old forms, i.e. forms issued prior to 2014. Several measures have been taken by NAV and Statistics Norway in order to increase use of the new claim forms and from 2015 onwards the amount rejected is substantially reduced. The new claim forms can be found on NAV’s web page.
See Collection of data, revision and estimations for a methodological description of how rejection of the claim forms is handled.
Øyvind Isachsen Berntsen