Prevention is crucial to reducing accidents in the workplace


The Accident Insurance Association (AAA), which is responsible for preventing and compensating accidents at work, commuting accidents and occupational illnesses, has introduced a bonus-malus system in 2019. This is designed to encourage contributors, including companies, to invest more in preventing accidents at work.

The contribution rate payable by companies, which are divided into risk classes based on the activity carried out, can be reduced or even increased as a result of the bonus-malus factor. This bonus-malus factor is a function of the workplace accident benefits paid to the company by AAA. Therefore, if a company has not reported any accidents generating the payment of benefits by AAA during the 12-month observation period, it is awarded a bonus which is applied to the single basic rate of 0.75%.

Since 1 January, this bonus has been slightly increased from 10% to 15%. The malus, however, remains unchanged at 10%, 30% and 50% respectively. This adjustment to the bonus decided by the Minister for Social Security is certainly to be welcomed, but also needs to be qualified.

This system, like all insurance systems, is based solely on benefits paid out. This does not necessarily reflect the cost of the prevention policy implemented within a company over the years. All it takes is one accident, even one for which the company is not responsible, for it to incur a deductible.

Many companies are aware of their legal responsibilities and are committed to prevention well beyond the legal framework. The measures taken in the field of health and safety at work are important factors in the smooth running of a company and the well-being of its employees. Any approach to health and safety at work is also part of the overall concept of corporate social responsibility that UEL and its members have always promoted, such as the national VISION ZERO strategy. The latter calls for ongoing investment aimed at raising awareness and training employees to behave safely and responsibly, by calling on the leadership of company directors in all companies, even the smallest.

How can the efforts made by companies on the ground be rewarded? For UEL, any action or expenditure on risk prevention in terms of health and safety at work helps to reduce accidents. This includes a wide range of initiatives and material and immaterial resources, such as accidentology, training, awareness-raising and investment in safety equipment. UEL is committed to working with its members to promote a sector-wide approach to accident prevention.