Objectives Considering data sources and statistical trends on recent fatal cases resulting from workplace accidents in the Brazilian construction industry, herein two aspects are emphasised: a critical appraisal of the official registers on deaths resulting from work-related accidents, and a discussion on alternatives to achieve better information to support interventions in this sector.
Method Statistics and the variability in the profiles of death at work from 2000 to 2011 were systematically analysed for construction industry according to the federal data sources on dimensions related to occupational health, working conditions and social security.
Results In addition to presentation of specific rates and a set of indicators, a technical proposal is suggested for a more effective and realistic characterisation of the profile of mortality in workplaces by considering age, gender, education, occupation, as well the more frequent causes related to each type of accident. All of them as a condition to understand the main risks and to help teams of OSH facing the worst violence against workers.
Conclusions By reason of the high social and economic costs involving work accidents in Brazil, this study searches to provide a specific comprehension on fatal cases as well as some subsidies for the government to draw policies oriented to minimise risks in the workplaces of construction industry. However, mortality resulting from accidents in the informal labour market should be considered to overcome gap on information. After all, if the number of unemployed workers is underestimated, the number of underemployed has not been taken into account.
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