Title: A factorial decomposition analysis of the rate of work accidents in Europe during 2008-2015: analysis of the relevance of work safety mechanisms and economic performance

Authors: Gimena Sánchez

Addresses: Department de Management, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC Barcelona Tech), Spain

Abstract: This study evaluates the connection between economic productivity (GDP per worker) and work accident rates in Europe, while acknowledging the role of work safety controls operationalised via labour inspections and the inspectorate at country level. The results of the factorial decomposition model applied on a sample of 24 European countries during 2008-2015 reveal that, at country level, economic activity and work accidents follow a pro-cyclical trajectory: work accident rates fall when the economy shrinks, while in periods of economic growth, the variation in the rate of work accidents slows down or stagnates. The findings also indicate that the positive effect of safety controls (inspections and inspectors) on work accidents is conditional on the state of the economy, which suggests the need to introduce reforms that improve the functioning of the work-safety system in Europe.

Keywords: labour productivity; work accidents rate; economic cycle; work inspections; Europe.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBE.2020.111394

International Journal of Business Environment, 2020 Vol.11 No.4, pp.390 - 403

Received: 26 Nov 2019
Accepted: 24 Dec 2019

Published online: 25 Nov 2020 *

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