Comparisons with other countries

The UK compares favourably to the rest of the EU in health and safety standards...

Member state Fatal injuries at work
Ireland 0.45
Germany 0.55
Finland 0.56
Malta 0.59
United Kingdom 0.61
Sweden 0.66
Netherlands 0.77
Slovakia 0.79
Denmark 0.93
Poland 1.03
Italy 1.04
Estonia 1.12
EU-28 (2013-2020) 1.17
Slovenia 1.23
Austria 1.35
Hungary 1.45
Czechia 1.49
Spain 1.49
Greece 1.57
Belgium 1.69
Portugal 1.73
Bulgaria 1.92
Croatia 1.96
Romania 2.59
Luxembourg 2.79
Lithuania 2.89
Latvia 2.93
France 3.07
Cyprus 3.76

(Eurostat, ESAW 2018, http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/data/database)

Member state Worker injuries
Bulgaria 0.26
Hungary 0.62
Poland 0.72
Latvia 0.91
Estonia 0.92
Lithuania 0.97
Ireland 1.03
Greece 1.05
Cyprus 1.19
Romania 1.22
Croatia 1.28
Malta 1.33
UK 1.35
Czech Republic 1.57
Sweden 1.78
Spain 1.8
Italy 1.83
Belgium 1.85
Slovakia 1.97
Slovenia 2.08
Denmark 2.34
Portugal 2.62
Luxembourg 2.97
France 3.06
Finland 3.32
Austria 3.46

(EU LFS, 2013, http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/data/database)1

Member state Worker ill health
Ireland 1
Lithuania 1.2
Greece 1.4
Malta 1.5
Bulgaria 1.6
Romania 1.7
UK 1.9
Italy 1.9
Hungary 2.5
Spain 2.8
Slovenia 2.9
Cyprus 3.2
Czech Republic 3.3
Croatia 3.5
EU-28 3.7
Denmark 3.6
Germany 3.8
Portugal 3.9
Finland 4.2
Estonia 4.2
Latvia 4.4
Belgium 4.5
Slovakia 5.2
France 5.4
Luxembourg 5.5
Sweden 7.3
Poland 7.7
Austria 10.5

(EU LFS, 2013, http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/data/database)1

More information on comparisons with other countries

Health and safety systems differ across Europe in recording, reporting and enforcement. To enable comparisons across member states with differing industrial backgrounds, the European statistical office (Eurostat) publishes data in as standardised a form as possible. Data available from Eurostat shows the UK's historical performance is favourable compared to countries across the EU, with relatively low rates of work-related fatalities, injuries and ill health.

  • In 2018 the UK standardised rate, at 0.61 fatalities per 100,000 employees, was amongst the lowest of all European countries and compares favourably with most large economies such as France, Italy, Spain and Poland. Germany had a lower rate at 0.55 per 100,000 employees.
  • European surveys reveal that most UK workers are confident that their job does not put their health or safety at risk. Additionally, UK businesses are more likely to have a health and safety policy, and to follow this up with formal risk assessment, compared to other European countries.

Notes

  1. Due to methodological problems the EU LFS injury data does not contain data for Germany or the Netherlands; as such an EU average figure has not been produced.
  2. The overall GB rate of fatal injuries published by HSE for 2018/19 was 0.39 per 100,000 employees; the standardised rate published by Eurostat accounts for variation in industry composition across European countries.
Updated 2021-12-06