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  1. O Brügger
  1. bfu – Swiss Council for Accident Prevention, Berne, Switzerland


Background Every year, around 400 000 Swiss residents are injured in sports accidents so severely that they need medical treatment. 170 people suffer fatal sports accidents in Switzerland. The bfu–Swiss Council for Accident Prevention–is legally mandated to prevent sports injuries.

Objective The bfu will present a safety analysis of sport in Switzerland. The aim of a scientific approach is to ensure that decision-makers in the sports sector have a basis available for accident prevention planning.

Design The method used covers three stages in accident research: in the accident analysis, the extent of accidents will be documented and focal points detected. The risk analysis will weight the factors relating to the focal points that are of relevance for accidents in Switzerland. The intervention analysis will evaluate prevention possibilities in terms of their effectiveness, efficiency and the degree to which they can be implemented to meet Swiss conditions.

Results The types of sports(-groups) that make up the focal points of accidents–snowsports, off-road biking, mountain sports, watersports (drowning) and football–are the main areas of activity for sports accident prevention. The risk factors identified in the risk analysis are largely specific to each type of sport. They can be allocated to the individual person (particularly risk competence, physical and physiological preconditions) or the setting and the activity respectively (including sports infrastructure, equipment, natural surroundings, official rules). The interventions with the potential for reducing the risk of accidents will be a conclusive list of prevention recommendations that are also specific in nature to the type of sport.

Conclusion The result of this safety analysis will be the basis for setting an agenda for Switzerland designed to enhance sports safety. Evidence-based recommendations for measures are not always possible given the major gaps in research.

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