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Executive Summary of Health and Safety Statistics in the UK compared with Europe

The 2023 report shows the UK excelling in workplace health and safety compared to other European countries. With one of the lowest fatal injury rates in Europe at 0.61 per 100,000 workers in 2018, the UK also reported lower rates of non-fatal injuries and work-related ill health in 2020 than major European economies. Additionally, the UK leads in health and safety practices, with a high percentage of businesses having safety policies and conducting regular risk assessments. This comparison highlights the UK's effective approach to workplace safety.

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Executive Summary: Health and Safety Statistics in the United Kingdom compared with European Countries, 2023

This is an executive summary of the Health and Safety Statistics in the United Kingdom compared with European countries, 2023 report. The report dives into a comprehensive analysis of health and safety practices, fatal and non-fatal injuries, and work-related ill-health in the UK and compares them with other European countries. The following sections present key findings from the report.

1. The UK has one of the lowest rates of fatal injury across Europe

In 2018, the standardized rate of fatal injury in the UK was 0.61 per 100,000 workers, which is considerably lower than France with 3.07 per 100,000 workers, Spain with 1.49 per 100,000 workers, and Italy with 1.04 per 100,000 workers. The trend of fatal injuries in the UK, Germany, and Italy shows a downward direction from 1994 to 2018. (Source: Eurostat, ESAW, 2018)

2. In 2020, 1.0% of UK workers had a workplace non-fatal injury

This figure is lower compared to other large European economies such as France (2.8%), Spain (1.8%), and Italy (1.3%). The data is taken from the European Labour Force Survey (EU/UK LFS) of 2020. (Source: Eurostat, EU/UK LFS, 2020)

3. Work-related ill-health affected 3.3% of UK workers in 2020

This percentage is lower compared to Poland (12.8%), France (5.3%), Germany (4.3%), and Spain (4.0%). The data is based on workers’ own ideas of work-related health problems. (Source: Eurostat, EU/UK LFS, 2020)

4. Majority of UK workers are confident that their job does not put their health or safety at risk

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. (Source: Eurofound, EWCTS, 2021; EU-OSHA, ESENER, 2019)

5. In 2018, the UK standardised rate of fatal injury was 0.61 per 100,000 workers

This figure is lower compared to the EU-27 rate of 1.27 per 100,000 workers. The UK three-year average standardised rate for fatal injuries over 2015-2017 was 0.52 per 100,000 workers. (Source: Eurostat, ESAW, 2018)

6. 24% of UK workers believe that their job risks their health and safety

This is one of the lowest in Europe, compared to Spain (49%), France (39%), Germany (31%) and Italy (28%). (Source: Eurofound, EWCTS, 2021)

7. 97% of UK businesses have a document explaining health and safety responsibilities and procedures

This figure is in line with several other European countries, with the EU-27 average being 91%. (Source: EU-OSHA, ESENER, 2019)

8. 90% of UK workplaces undertake regular health and safety risk assessments

This is more than most European countries and compares with the EU-27 average of 77%. (Source: EU-OSHA, ESENER, 2019)

9. 71% of UK establishments have an action plan to prevent work-related stress

This compares to the EU-27 average of 35%. (Source: EU-OSHA, ESENER, 2019)

10. The UK fatal injury rate in 2018 was similar to Germany (0.55 per 100,000 workers)

The UK consistently has one of the lowest rates of fatal injury across Europe. (Source: Eurostat, ESAW, 2018)


The report provides a comprehensive overview of the health and safety conditions in the UK and European countries. The UK consistently shows lower rates of fatal injuries and non-fatal workplace injuries, and a higher level of health and safety practices compared to other European countries. However, continuous efforts are necessary to further improve the health and safety conditions in the workplace.


Richard O'Connor's Headshot

Richard O'Connor is a Director at First Mats. He has deep knowledge in areas like Manufacturing, Warehousing, Marine, and Health & Safety. Richard's insights have been featured in well-known publications such as Bloomberg Business, The Sun, and Reader's Digest. His blend of industry expertise and passion for sharing makes him a sought-after voice in his fields.

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