Every year nearly 5 million people in the European Union suffer workplace accidents resulting in more than 3 days absence, amounting to around 146 million working days lost. Some effects are permanent, affecting people’s ability to work and life outside work. Work-related accidents occur in all industries and include slips and trips, falls, falling objects, sharp and hot objects, and accidents involving vehicles and machinery. Yet many of the problems can be prevented with good management. The cost of occupational accidents is high, including: - Sick pay, overtime payments, temporary replacement labour, early retirement, recruiting new labour, retraining - Lost production time and business - Damage to plant, equipment, materials, products - Management time to deal with accidents - Increased insurance premiums, lawyers’ costs - Lower worker morale Accident risks are higher for those employed in Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). The incidence rate for fatal accidents to workers in enterprises of fewer than 50 employees is around double that of larger units.