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Better injury data needed for more effective consumer safety policies, says EuroSafe report.


11 Mar 2013


Health & Consumers
Accidents and injuries are killing almost one quarter of a million people in the EU-27 each
year, according to a report (1) published by EuroSafe (2) today. An annual average of 40
million people are being treated in hospitals across the EU after an injury event. One in ten
hospital beds are occupied by injury patients.
No fewer than 73% of these accidents and injuries happen at home or during leisure
activities, particularly affecting vulnerable groups such as the less well-off, children and
older people.

Wim Rogmans, secretary general of EuroSafe, says:
“In spite of these alarming statistics, only a few countries within the EU collect systematically
information on home and leisure injuries. As a result, the majority of health and consumer
protection authorities are in the dark as to how to prevent home and leisure accidents and to
reduce its ever rising burden on health care budgets”.

More key facts from the report:
  • There are great differences between countries in the number of fatal and hospital treated
accidental injuries per 100.000 inhabitants. This indicates that there are ample opportunities
for rolling out across the entire EU-region measures have proven effective elsewhere.
  • The share of the older population in fatal accidents and non-fatal injuries is increasing over
the years. This reflects of course the process of our population growing older, in particular
the increasing share of those 75 years and above.
  • Each year, a massive €78 billion is being spent on direct medical and rehabilitation costs as
a consequence of injuries.

EU-leadership needed:
In the fields of work safety and road safety, the need for injury information has been
acknowledged a while ago; dedicated reporting systems are in place which are also used at EUlevel.
This has resulted in increased political understanding and commitment to make roads and
work places safer.
As to safety at home and in leisure time, information about the huge number of cases treated in
hospitals does not exist in most of the countries. Therefore, a binding arrangement is needed for
all countries to collect data on home and leisure accidents. The EU-Regulation on Community
statistics on public health and health and safety at work (3) provides a legal framework for such
an agreement and emergency departments offer great opportunities for collecting such
information efficiently and at low cost.
EU-wide injury surveillance will empower national authorities and related safety agencies to make
a difference in preventing injuries and to enhance health and safety of European citizens.


For more information, please contact: 
Wim Rogmans, general secretary EuroSafe, Amsterdam 
Mobile: + 31 655 308 297; E-mail: 
Rupert Kisser, Director EuroSafe's IDB-Programme, Vienna 
Mobile: + 43 664 534 5369; E-mail:
Notes to the journalist 
(1) The report, ‘Injuries in the European Union - Statistics Summary 2008 – 2010’ has been 
produced by the Austrian Road Safety Board (KfV), the Health Information Research Unit at the 
Swansea University and the European Association for Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion 
(EuroSafe), with support and co-funding from the European Commission (Health Programme).
The report can be downloaded at (from 11 March 8 am): 
(2) EuroSafe, the European Association for Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion, represents 
45 institutions across the EU that have a mission in safety promotion. EuroSafe is a relaying 
point for policy makers and injury prevention professionals and influences policy agenda’s at 
European level and in countries (see also: 
(3) The EC-regulation No 1338/2008 of 16 December 2008 on Community statistics on public 
health and health and safety at establishes a common framework for the systematic production 
of Community statistics on public health and health and safety at work. It requires Member States 
to supply to the Commission (Eurostat) statistics on health status and health determinants, 
including information on accidents and injuries.


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