Report Compares U.S. and EU Fatal Work Injuries

The comparison for calendar year 2010 found, after making data comparability adjustments, total U.S. private-sector fatalities were 2,530 and total EU fatalities were 3,353.

Two BLS economists, William J. Wiatrowski and Jill A. Janocha, recently wrote a report summarizing the findings from a comparison of 2010 private-sector workplace fatalities in the United States and the European Union. After BLS used data comparability adjustments (eliminating self-employed workers, public sector fatalities, and suicides, mainly), it came up with 2,530 fatalities in the United States and 3,353 in the EU.

They reported that notable differences include that 19.3 percent of cases occurred in the manufacturing industry in the European Union, compared with 14.9 percent of cases in the United States, and 1.4 percent of cases occurred in the "accommodation and food service activities" industry in the European Union, compared with 4.4 percent of such cases in the United States.

The comparison was done following a special session on statistics during the July 2012 Seventh United States–European Union Joint Conference on Occupational Safety and Health held in Brussels. Representatives of BLS, OSHA, NIOSH, HHS, and Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, discussed the potential for developing comparable data on workplace safety and health, and BLS and Eurostat agreed to produce the comparison, according to their article.

Their article points out that comparability problems from the EU data will be eased because a Commission Regulation on European Statistics on Accidents at Work took effect in 2013.

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