Is Europe safer than America for workers?

| July 14, 2014

A June report by Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) that compares the number of fatalities in US versus European Union (EU) in the calendar year 2010, hints that working in the US is far more risky than working in EU.

Fatal Occupational Injury Rates In US and Europe

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Source: Business Insider


Extensively collected data revealed that the rate of fatalities per 100,000 employees in the United States was 3.1 while in Europe it was 2.8 (The data collected did not factor in self-employed people, workers in public sector, and suicide cases).

The data was further divided into various occupational groups. Fatality rate in most of the groups ( namely agricultural, forestry and fishing; electricity, gas, steam, and air conditioning supply; water supply and sewerage, waste management and remediation activities; transportation and storage; and real estate activities) in US was nearly twice the rate for EU.

In only a few occupations, like finance and insurance activities; and professional, scientific, and technical activities, fatality rates were higher in Europe than in America.

However, readers and data users should be careful not to reach any conclusion regarding relative workplace safety in EU and US. This is because the injury definitions, data sources, and collection techniques of BLS and EU are different. For example, EU data on fatalities excludes certain types of cases such as road accidents in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

The comparison is subject to further research and findings and must be considered only as the “first step in an attempt to identify and understand differences between U.S. and EU fatal work injuries,” as reported by BLS.


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