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The number of reported work injuries dropped by 30 percent in 2020 compared to the year before.

2020 ended up as a good year when it comes to safety levels aboard Danish shipping companies’ vessels across the globe. Once again, there was a drop in work injuries of 30 percent compared to 2019.

The decline underlines the development within recent years and is noted with contentment in the Danish Shipowners’ Accident Insurance Association (UFDS).

»We have seen fewer injuries, fewer injuries are coming in, and this has been the fact over a longer period of time. We take this as a sign that the shipping companies are succeeding in focusing on safety aboard,« comments UFDS chairman Lars Henneberg.

He also points to the fact that shipping companies are very well structured when it comes to reporting and they are thorough in logging all accidents, providing a solid base for statistics.

Progress in some sectors

2020 was obviously the year of the corona pandemic and Covid-19 has had its significant toll on the decline in the number of accidents aboard Danish registered vessels. Thus, UFDS has experienced a drop of 6 percent in the number of insured personnel, and especially passenger liners as well as the offshore industry has seen lower levels of activity than usual.

Cargo and tanking have, however, seen levels rise in 2020, leaving Lars Henneberg unwilling to assign Covid with all the credit for the improved vessel safety.

»The decline of 30 percent is pretty drastic, and Covid-19 is obviously a significant part of the explanation due to lower levels of activity. But we look at the numbers coming in, and it is a long running trend improving year-on-year. This points to the shipping companies focus on safety being effectful,« he says.

UFDS dialogue with a number of shipping companies actually implies that Covid has not only resulted in lower levels of activity, but also led to a generally increased “safety attention”, as noted in the 2020 Leadership Statement.

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The Danish Shipowners’ Accident Insurance Association (UFDS)