Foto: Marcello Casal Jr/Agência Brasil

Article published on July 3, 2020.

A study prepared by the Institute of Collective Health (ISC) of the Federal University of Bahia (UFBA) traced the profile of fatal victims of accidents at work involving motorcycles in Brazil. They are mostly men (89.8%), between 25 and 39 years old (45.2%), workers in industry (31.7%) or in the services and commerce sector (29.1%). The survey is based on data provided by the Mortality Information System (SIM) and by the Ministry of Health’s Information System on Notifiable Diseases (SINAN).

During the period analyzed, from 2007 to 2018, 395,998 deaths from land transport accidents were recorded across the country. Of this total, 30% involved motorcycles. The study also shows the increase in the motorcycle fleet in the last decade, which jumped from 11 million in 2007 to 26.7 million in 2018, according to data from the National Traffic Department (Denatran).

“The objective is to contribute to the knowledge of this serious health problem and, thus, to the improvement of the protection policies for these workers, whose work has become so necessary with the Covid-19 pandemic”, highlights Professor Vilma Santana, coordinator the ISC / UFBA Integrated Program in Environmental and Worker Health (PISAT).

In traffic, work accidents can occur both on the way home from work to work or from home, as well as in the exercise of the work itself, as in the provision of various services, such as the delivery of goods and the transport of goods. passengers (mototaxi). “These differences define work accidents as commuting or typical and, for each group, different prevention actions correspond”, explains the teacher.

Incomplete records

Although information about the relationship with work is mandatory in every death statement caused by injuries due to external causes (traffic accidents and violence), the researchers show that only 37.8% of the official records presented this data. Of the cases that were duly registered, only 12.3% were recognized as accidents at work, of which 20% (3,692 cases) involved motorcycles.

According to Professor Cleber Cremonese (ISC / UFBA), although the number of workers who use motorcycles is increasingly expressive, epidemiological data on accidents at work with this type of vehicle are still insufficient in Brazil. “These findings reveal the poor quality of filling in the information, whether in the existence of the record or in its consistency. This reveals the little importance given to such valuable information for guaranteeing the rights of victims and family members, as well as for prevention ”, warns the teacher.

Non-fatal accidents

Between 2007 and 2018, SINAN recorded 75,441 non-fatal work accidents involving motorcycles in the country. Although the number of men is significantly higher (81.9% of cases), the researchers identified a significant increase in occupational accidents among female motorcyclists. In 2007, 84 cases involved women, jumping to 2,141 accidents in 2018, that is, an increase of 2,900%. Among men, cases ranged from 764 in 2007 to 8,345 in 2018, an increase of 1000% in the period under review.

Of the total number of non-fatal cases involving motorcycles, 70.9% were workers with a formal contract. “This predominance can be explained by the greater demand for services aimed at recognizing the relationship with the accident work by these workers who can obtain Social Security benefits, such as accident assistance. As the granting of these benefits requires the recognition of the occupational nexus by the expertise of the Social Security, the notification in SINAN can contribute to the recognition of the occupational nature of the accident ”, observes Cremonese.

Among the cases of formal workers, occupations in services and commerce (59%) and in industry (17.1%) predominated, a distribution similar to that observed in the category with informal ties. “In general, the high number of cases among service and commerce workers, both among formal and informal workers, and in the production of industrial goods and services, is noteworthy”, reinforces the professor.


On July 1, a national strike mobilized thousands of application delivery workers across the country with the aim of charging for better working conditions, protection measures against the new coronavirus, as well as more transparency in the dynamics of service functioning and forms of remuneration. Called “Breque dos Apps”, the stoppage organized by groups on the internet brought together workers from companies like Rappi, Loggi, Ifood, Uber Eats and James in several cities in the country. Another similar movement is scheduled to take place on July 12th.

For the President of the Association of Motofretistas with Applications of the State of Pernambuco (Amap-PE), Rodrigo Correa, there is an overload of work that helps to increase the risk of these workers to accidents involving these vehicles. “There are periods of up to 12 hours a day to get between 80 and 100 reais. The gain is due to productivity, that is, the faster and more agile the motofretista is, the greater his gain ”, he highlights.

It also points to the need for greater appreciation of the category, both by the government and by application companies and society. “Social isolation due to the Covid-19 pandemic showed the importance of workers in delivery activities”, he observes.

According to the president of the Brazilian Federation of Professional Motorcyclists (Febramoto), Gilberto Almeida dos Santos, who has been working in São Paulo traffic for 18 years, the protection of the category involves the formalization of employment contracts, especially in application companies, which operate only as business intermediaries and without labor obligations.

“Law 12.009 / 2009 must be complied with, which deals with the safety standards of motofretista and motoboy; the enactment of Law 12,436 / 2011, which prohibits practices that encourage speeding by professional motorcyclists; and the adoption of Law 12,997 / 2014, which considers motorcycle work activities to be dangerous, guaranteeing the right to receive a 30% hazardous premium, ”he adds.

For Professor Vilma Santana, the study is an opportunity to assess the social and human impacts of traffic accidents at work and, in particular, those involving motorcycles, from the number of lives lost to incapacity for work, treatments and prolonged rehabilitation , in addition to the emotional consequences that affect the family and the worker’s life. “The overload of health services, the high occupancy of beds in hospitals and the demand for rehabilitation services signal the urgency to face this social problem of complex determination”, he concludes.

The results of the study are available in the 16th edition of the epidemiological bulletin prepared by the team of the Integrated Program in Environmental and Worker Health (PISAT) of the Institute of Collective Health (ISC / UFBA), in collaboration with the General Coordination of Occupational Health (CGST / MS). To access the full publication, click here.