In 2015, the UK government exempted “low-risk” self-employed workers from legislation on workplace safety. This reversed a move two decades earlier that incorporated the self-employed more fully into the same regulatory framework as employees. This paper examines whether workplace accidents among self-employed workers shifted after these two changes to safety regulations. A
difference-in-differences estimation framework suggests that the extension of regulation in 1999 had little impact on relative accident rates. In contrast, after 2015, accident rates for high and low risk self-employed converged, driven primarily by a steep fall in accident rates among those still covered by legislation.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
Number of pages53
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jun 2022


  • non-fatal workplace accidents, self employed, de-regulation, health and safety

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