Table 1

Characteristics of the data sources used in this project to identify occupational injuries

Data sourcePopulation coveredInjury reporting and definitionEligibility, compensation and data access
Information system on occupational injuries (ISA)* All employees and self-employed persons in Sweden.
To be employed in Sweden you need to be a resident (temporary or permanent) or European Union (EU) citizen. EU-citizens can work without registering to the authorities for up to 6 months. Those directly employed in EU/EEA or third country but stationed in Sweden are not covered.
The employee is responsible for notifying the employer who in turn is obliged by law to report any injury. There is no deadline for reporting an injury. Reports are filed online and to a lesser extent on paper.
An occupational injury is an injury due to accident(s), which occurred at the workplace or other place where the injured person had been for work. For an event to be counted as an accident, it is required that the course was relatively short and arose in connection with a particular event.
Injuries caused by threats, assaults, robberies are also counted as occupational injuries. Both physical and mental injuries are counted here. Injuries such as heat stroke, frostbite, inflammation and injuries due to mechanical effects for a shorter period of time, no more than a few days, are also considered to be caused by accidents.
Days of work lost due to the injury (except in the case of annuity) are paid through the regular sickness benefit system. So, despite the law to report injuries, no report is needed to get compensation for lost work days.
If the injury is likely to reduce workability for more than 1 year, compensation for lost work income (annuity) can be approved if the injury has led to a lower income for the worker (other job and/or fewer hours).
ISA automatically sends the report to the national insurance board who administrates both the sickness benefit and worker’s compensation. No assessment of the injuries validity is made unless the worker makes a claim for compensation.
Data access: Open and closed cases are available alike at the time of data extraction. Final statistics are published approximately 11 months after the close of the calendar year.
AFA insurance‡All employees within the private sector (also self-employed) who have signed a collective agreement. All employees in municipalities and county councils as they are always covered by collective agreements. AFA also administrates the occupational injury insurance for all national government employees. Thus, in total, the AFA register covers 100% of the public sector employees and approximately 90% of the total Swedish Labour market.
The same regulations regarding employment in Sweden as described under ISA applies.
Employees report directly to AFA through an online form. There is no deadline for reporting an injury. However, there is a 10-year deadline to receive compensation (6 years for income loss).
The same definition of occupational injury as ISA is used.
Eligibility: The employer confirms that the person was an employee at the time of the injury through a direct query from AFA. AFA also checks with the national insurance board if there are sick days reported.
The claim’s validity is assessed and if granted compensation can be given for lost income, direct costs associated with the injury and sometimes compensation for pain and suffering. If the injury still causes suffering after 18 months, compensation can be given for medical disability/permanent impairment and/or annuity.
Data access: Open and closed cases are available alike at the time of data extraction.
  • *ISA register is held by the Swedish Work Environment Agency.

  • †Special cases (workers who do not qualify for sickness benefit or if his/her sickness benefit is low) are covered by the occupational injury sickness benefit.

  • ‡AFA is a privately held insurance company owned by the Swedish trade unions and employer’s organisations. Available data for the year 2013.

  • EU= European Union, EEA= European Economic Area