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12 February 2018

France: 10 000 mental health problems recognised as workplace accidents in 2016

According to a report published on 16 January by France’s Sickness Insurance Fund-Occupational Health, in 2016 more than 10 000 workplace accidents were a result of mental health issues.

In all, 626 000 workplace accidents were reported in France in 2016. Mental health problems thus accounted for 1.6 % of all occupational accidents resulting in absences from work.

The recognition rate of workplace accidents caused by mental illnesses was around 70 %, which is considerably lower than the rate for all accidents combined (93 %).

Sick leave for mental health problems recognised as workplace accidents was 112 days on average, compared to 65 days for accidents as a whole.

The Sickness Insurance Fund estimated that these illnesses cost EUR 230 million in 2016. In comparison, lower back pain caused by work cost EUR 1 billion.

According to the Fund’s figures, 60 % of mental health-related occupational accidents affect women. Women in their 40s are particularly at risk: among workers aged 40 to 49, women are between 1.5 and 2 times more likely to be affected.

Three professions are particularly vulnerable to mental health problems: medical/social work (18 % of recognised cases), transport (15 %) and retail (13 %).

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