Construction: workplace accidents down

Three workers on a scaffold.

(07.09.2022) Occupational accidents continue to decline in the overall construction sector. In 2021, the Swiss Contractors' Association (SCA) reported fewer than 26,000 cases - a drop of almost 25% compared to 20 years ago.

The main sector of the overall construction industry, which encompasses construction, road construction, underground construction and landscaping, planting and maintenance, has seen a distinct downward trend over the past ten years. In 2020, the number of accidents fell below 180 for the first time.

The relatively low levels in 2020 and 2021 (approximately 173 accidents per 1,000 full-time positions) are partly attributable to changes related to the Covid-19 pandemic, which resulted in site closures, reduced workforce activities, and increased attention to health.

However, disparities exist between the various subsectors, not all of which have the same risk profiles. Scaffolding construction (225.9), wood construction and carpentry (197) and garden design, planting and maintenance (186.2) remain the most affected sub-sectors. Conversely, safety has improved in the underground work sector compared to 2012 (200.7) and 2017 (154.5), with 136 accidents per 1,000 full-time positions recorded in 2021. Road construction remains at a 10-year low.

Demographics also affect potential accident risk in all sectors. Young workers aged 15 to 24 are twice as likely to be involved in accidents as employees in the 55-64 age group.


Last modification 07.09.2022

Top of page

News and useful information for founders and entrepreneurs.