Workplace accidents up 12 pct in Netherlands

The number of workplace accidents in the Netherlands increased by 12 percent to 4,250 last year, according to figures from the Inspectorate for Social Affairs and Employment. 2017 was the fourth year in a row that the number of workplace accidents increased, RTL Nieuws reports.

Large companies tend to have safety in order, but small companies often fail to properly identify the risks, according to the Inspectorate. The actual number of accidents may be even higher, because companies sometimes don't report accidents to the Inspectorate. Companies that fail to report serious accidents face a hefty fine.

While the number of workplace accidents increased, there was a decrease in the number of people who died in such an accident last year. In 2017 a total of 50 people died in a workplace accident, compared to 70 in 2016.

The construction, waste processing, and transport and storage sectors see relatively many workplace accidents. At least a tenth of fatal accidents in the workplace over the past years involved a forklift, Patrick van de Sande of the foundation Arbeidsongevallen said to RTL. Sometimes accidents are caused by lack of training. Other causes include a moment of inattention or defects in the equipment. 

Two serious workplace accidents made headlines this week. On Monday a man fell around five meters while working on the telecom in the church tower of H. Martinus Church in Velddriel. He was taken to hospital in unknown condition. On Tuesday two people were injured when a crane toppled on Schaardijk in Krimpen aan den IJssel.