Economic situation and occupational accidents in Poland: 2002–2014 panel data regional study
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Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, Toruń, Poland (Department of Public Health)
Warsaw School of Economics, Warszawa, Poland (Department of Applied Economics, Collegium of Management and Finance)
Online publication date: 2017-10-26
Corresponding author
Błażej Łyszczarz   

Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń, Department of Public Health, Sandomierska 16, 85-830 Bydgoszcz, Poland
Int J Occup Med Environ Health. 2018;31(2):151-64
Objectives: Occupational accidents constitute a substantial health and economic burden for societies around the world and a variety of factors determine the frequency of accidents at work. The aim of this paper is to investigate the relationship between the economic situation and the rate of occupational accidents in Poland. Material and Methods: The analysis comprised data for 66 Polish sub-regions taken from the Central Statistical Office’s Local Data Bank. The regression analysis with panel data for period 2002–2014 was applied to identify the relationships involved. Four measures of accidents were used: the rates of total occupational accidents, accidents among men and women separately as well as days of incapacity to work due to accidents at work per employee. Four alternative measures assessed the economic situation: gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, average remuneration, the unemployment rate and number of dwelling permits. The confounding variables included were: employment in hazardous conditions and the size of enterprises. Results: The results of the regression estimates show that the number of occupational accidents in Poland exhibits procyclical behavior, which means that more accidents are observed during the times of economic expansion. Stronger relationships were observed in the equations explaining men’s accident rates as well as total rates. A weaker and not always statistically significant impact of economic situation was identified for women’s accident rates and days of incapacity to work. Conclusions: The results have important implications for occupational health and safety actions. In the periods of higher work intensity employers should focus on appropriate training and supervision of inexperienced workers as well as on ensuring enough time for already experienced employees to recuperate. In terms of public health actions, policy makers should focus on scrutinizing working conditions, educating employers and counteracting possible discrimination of injured employees. Int J Occup Med Environ Health 2018;31(2):151–164
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