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Towards a Europe-wide database of accidents and injuries

Date

14 Mar 2013

Sections

Health & Consumers

Brussels, 14 March 2013 – A broad coalition of European organisations has come together to call on the European Commission to propose setting up a Pan-European Accident and Injury Data System. They are convinced that such a system would contribute to fewer accidents and injuries. Moreover, the cost of creating such a system would be more than offset by reductions in health care costs.

Roughly 5.7 million people are admitted to hospital annually as a result of injuries sustained in accidents. 34 million others are treated as outpatients .

41 million injuries per year is not only an extraordinarily high number but also contribute to significant healthcare costs (estimated at €78 billion each year ). 73% of such accidents occur at home or while engaged in leisure, including sports.

Aiming to reduce the number of preventable injuries and also healthcare costs, European business groups, consumer organisations, standardisation bodies and safety promoters together urge the European Commission to establish an EU-wide accident and injury data system.

To mark the 15th annual European Consumer Day, 28 organisations have joined forces to stress the need to tackle the current disorder of data collection. There is a clear need for a system that allows data to be more easily compared across Europe.

Trailing more than 30 years behind a proven and successful US-system , an adequately funded single European database would prompt significant decreases in the costs associated with the medical treatment of injuries.   

Such a European injury and accident database would require a representative sample of emergency centres to record the cause of such accidents. Using this resource, national authorities would then pool and share the data into a European system, helping manufacturers to adapt their products, providing a basis for public awareness-raising campaigns, assisting legislators and surveillance authorities and standardisers to make more informed risk assessment decisions and developing better product standards.

The Joint Call for a Pan-European Accident and Injury Data System is an initiative of ANEC, BEUC, BUSINESSEUROPE, CEN, CENELEC, EuroCommerce, EuroSafe and Orgalime. This initiative is also supported by ACFSE, AGE Platform Europe, CAPIEL, CECAPI, CECED, ECSA, EFLM, EGMF, ELA, ENPC, ESF, ESTES, ETUI, EuPHA, Euralarm, FENA, FSEU, ILSE, PROSAFE and TIE.

The Joint Call was formally presented this morning to Tonio Borg, European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy, at the European Consumer Day Conference in Brussels, organised by the European Economic and Social Committee.

Elena Santiago Cid, Director General of CEN and CENELEC, said: "A truly comprehensive pan-European database of accidents and injuries would provide valuable information for those who are developing and revising European standards in relation to all kinds of products. It would enable our experts to identify and assess specific risks associated with particular types of products, and then look for ways to eliminate or minimise these risks. The result should be better standards leading to safer products, which also means fewer accidents and injuries."

Read the full press release (pdf version)

Read the Joint Call for a Pan-European Accident and Injury Data System (pdf)

 

Media contact
Ben Carlin
Communication Unit
CEN-CENELEC Management Centre
T: +32 2 550 08 32
Email
Twitter: @CENCLCpress

 

 

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