Every day two people die in a workplace accident and nearly 1,700 workplace accidents with sick leave are recorded.


Spain reaches the International Day for Occupational Safety and Health, which is celebrated this Sunday, with more work accidents than in 2023, although with a decline in mortality.

According to the latest data published by the Ministry of Labor, accidents resulting in sick leave increased by 5.2% until February compared to the same period in 2023, up to a total of 97,049 accidents.

Of these, 83,637 occurred at the workplace (4.4% more) and 13,412 were ‘in itinere’ accidents (those that occur on the way from home to work or vice versa), with a year-on-year increase of 10.0%. 9%.

In the first two months of the year, 103 workers died in a work accident, 11 less than in the same period of 2023, which in relative terms implies a decrease of 9.6%.

Most fatal accidents occur due to heart attacks and strokes, traffic accidents, entrapments and amputations, falls and collisions with moving objects.

According to provisional data from the Ministry, fatal accidents during work hours fell by 9.4% in the first two months of the year, with 87 deaths recorded, 9 less than in the same month of 2023, while accidents ‘in Itinere’ resulting in death decreased by 11.1%, to a total of 16 deaths, compared to 18 in the same period last year.

Among fatal accidents during work hours, the services sector recorded the highest number of deaths, 44, which is ten less than until February 2023 (-18.5%).

The agricultural sector also reduced its number of fatal accidents compared to the first two months of last year, where 6 workers died, five less than in 2023 (-45.5%).

On the other hand, fatal accidents increased in construction, with 24 deaths (26.3%) and in industry, a sector in which 13 workers lost their lives until February, one more than in the same period of 2023 (8 ,3%).

According to Labor statistics, serious accidents during work hours totaled 607 until February, 8.4% more, and serious ‘in itinere’ accidents increased by 31.5%, up to 171 accidents.

Minor accidents during work hours rose by 4.4% in the first two months of the year, to a total of 82,943, while ‘in itinere’ accidents classified as minor rose by 10.7%, to 13,225. .

The Labor statistics also reveal that of the 103 workers who lost their lives in a work accident until February, 93 were employees (-7%) and 10 were self-employed, four less than in 2023 (-28.6%).

Of the total number of self-employed workers who lost their lives in a work accident, eight did so at their workplace, six less than a year before, while two died in an accident ‘in itinere’.

In total, self-employed workers suffered 5,160 work-related accidents with sick leave until February, 0.1% less than in the same period in 2023, with a decrease of 1% in accidents during work hours and an increase of 16. 2% in ‘in itinere’ accidents.

Likewise, according to the Ministry’s provisional data, 83,406 accidents without sick leave were reported until February, 1.2% more than in the same period in 2023.

CCOO and UGT consider that the data on occupational accidents in Spain are “unaffordable” and confirm the need to reform the regulations regarding the prevention of occupational risks, a measure that is currently being negotiated at the social dialogue table with the Government.

“The data show that companies continue to fail to comply with regulations regarding the prevention of occupational risks,” denounce the UGT, who demand the need to “urgently put an end to the scourge of workplace accidents.”

The unions want the Prevention Law to be updated to adapt it to the new realities of the world of work, influenced by demographic, climate and digital transitions, and that the mental health of workers and psychosocial risks be also addressed.

“Climate change is an important risk for safety and health at work. It must be an urgent priority for social agents and for society in general,” they argue from CCOO.

They also ask for an increase in human and material resources for the Labor Inspection, guarantees of compliance with regulations on occupational health and safety, and the creation, at the state level, of a figure similar to that of the territorial prevention delegate. From UGT they also demand that the State Security Forces and Corps be “collaborators” of the Labor Inspection.

They also urge the Government to create a registry of workers exposed to carcinogenic factors. It is estimated that every year there are 14,000 cases of occupational cancer in Spain and more than 6,000 deaths for this reason. “These cases continue to remain hidden. Only 94 occupational diseases due to cancer were reported in 2023,” denounces the union.

CSIF, for its part, has made a series of proposals to the Ministry of Labor in response to the need to address a problem, that of accidents, whose economic cost amounts to around 43.8 million euros annually.

The union chaired by Miguel Borra demands a labor reform that guarantees “true” protection for the health of workers, since two people die every day in Spain and 1,712 accidents resulting in sick leave are recorded.

It also considers that monitoring of both physical and mental health should be strengthened and the composition of the National Commission for Safety and Health at Work should be expanded to include more unions.

For its part, the Confederation of Staff and Professionals (CCP) also focuses on mental health problems in the work environment of the group of Technicians, Managers and Managers in the work environment.

The International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates that 12 billion days of work are lost each year due to depression and anxiety, heavy workload, negative behaviors and other factors that cause distress at work.

According to their estimates, 1 billion people live with a mental disorder and 15% of working-age adults experience mental disorders each year.

For this reason, CCP proposes that the prevention of psychosocial risks be incorporated into collective bargaining so that the control of risks caused by the excess psychological demands of work is mandatory.