Foreign workers are at higher risk of losing their lives in occupational accidents than Norwegian workers, according to a new report from the Labor Inspectorate. The report compares the risk for Norwegian and foreign workers throughout the country-based workforce in the period 2011-2016.
In the period 2011-2016, the Labor Inspection Authority has registered a total of 234 occupational injuries in the country-based working life. 55 of the killed were foreign workers. In the same period, we have seen that the proportion of foreigners among the perpetrators has increased as the number of Norwegian workers who perish has decreased. By 2016, foreign workers accounted for 40 per cent of work-related deaths. Considering that foreign workers account for 17 per cent of employment, this is a disproportionately high proportion.
"The report shows that foreign workers are more at risk than Norwegian workers, trying to explain the reasons for this," says Trude Vollheim, Director of Labor Inspection.
Overall, foreign workers have 1.4 times higher risk of living in occupational accidents than Norwegian. Most risky are workers from EU countries in Eastern Europe. They have 3.2 times higher risk of dying at work than Norwegian workers.
"Employers and those who hire foreign workers must be aware of the risks that foreign workers are exposed to in the workplace, and they must be better at preventing and reducing risk," says Vollheim.
Biggest risk difference in transport and storage and agriculture, forestry and fishing
The statistics show that occupational injuries occur more often in some industries than others. Construction, agriculture, forestry and fisheries and transport and storage are the three industries with the most reported occupational injuries.
The greatest difference in risk between Norwegian and foreign workers is found in transport and storage, agriculture, forestry and fishing. In these two industries, workers from Eastern European countries also stand out at about three times as high as the Norwegian workers in the industry.
In construction, the results also indicate a higher risk of perjury in occupational accidents for foreign workers than for the Norwegian. However, the difference in risk levels between Norwegian and foreign workers in construction is not as great as in transport and storage, agriculture, forestry and fishing.