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European Comparisons

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

Member state Fatal injuries at work
Cyprus 0
Malta 0
Estonia 0.38
Ireland 0.39
United Kingdom 0.52
Germany 0.7
Denmark 0.7
Sweden 0.72
Netherlands 0.75
Finland 0.8
Poland 0.81
Italy 0.93
Slovenia 1.11
EU-28 1.18
Greece 1.22
Austria 1.26
Slovakia 1.29
Belgium 1.3
Czechia 1.31
Latvia 1.49
Hungary 1.51
Croatia 1.63
Spain 1.7
Bulgaria 1.87
Luxembourg 2.2
Portugal 2.26
Lithuania 2.48
France 3
Romania 3.08

(Eurostat, ESAW 2017, 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 European Comparisons

Health and safety systems differ across Europe in recording, reporting and enforcement. The European statistical office (Eurostat) publishes data in as standardised a form as possible. Data available on Eurostat shows that UK performance is favourable compared to other EU countries, with relatively low rates of work-related fatalities, injuries and ill health.

  • The UK consistently has one of the lowest rates of fatal injury across the EU. In 2017 the standardised rate was 0.52 per 100,000 employees2, which compares favourably with the EU-28 average of 1.18 per 100,000 employees.
  • European surveys reveal that the majority of 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 2017/18 was 0.36 per 100,000 employees; the standardised rate published by Eurostat accounts for variation in industry composition across EU countries.
Updated 2021-03-03