Health-EU Newsletter - Summer season: better safe than sorry!

Issue 94, 19 July 2012

In this edition


Injury prevention: better data needed for EU-wide benchmarking and effective action

By Dr Wim Rogmans, General Secretary, EuroSafe

Accidents and injuries are the fourth leading cause of deaths among the EU population. One out of 10 hospital admissions is related to an injury and, as a result, they impose a considerable financial burden on healthcare systems estimated at approximately EUR 15 billion a year in the EU-region. There are also huge disparities amongst Member States regarding the risk of accidents and injuries.



Injuries are to a large extent preventable. Prevention policies need to be based on proper information about risk groups, risks and causes. Unfortunately, in most countries information on the causes of accidents and injuries is rarely collected. Therefore the Council Recommendation on the prevention of injury and the promotion of safety (2007) rightly recommended Member States to develop national injury surveillance and reporting systems, which should monitor the evolution of injury risks and the effects of prevention measures over time.


If there is one thing the health sector could do to help tackle the injury calamity, it would be to disclose evidence as to the magnitude and the characteristics of the injury problem and to advocate for concerted actions.


In response to this call, coordinated by EuroSafe, 22 countries have signed up for a joint action, to have by 2015 one common emergency departments-based injury data collection system in all EU-Member States: the Joint Action for Injury Monitoring in Europe (JAMIE). It will be a system to serve as a basis for benchmarking and designing appropriate prevention policies, both at EU and national levels.


The Council Recommendation has also urged governments to set up national plans for preventing accidents and injuries. Over the past few years, collaborative projects have been initiated in the fields of child safety promotion, safety in sports, and safety for older people. These actions, also coordinated by EuroSafe, include an increasing number of partners from all Member States and have had a significant impact on injury prevention policies and actions in partner countries and local communities.


The Commission is currently carrying out an evaluation study to determine whether the proposed measures are working effectively and to assess the need for further actions.


In the meantime we wish all readers of the EU Health newsletter a healthy and safe summer season. Summer is the perfect time for adventurous outdoor activities such as mountain biking, swimming and hiking, often in unfamiliar places. Make sure that you are well prepared, use proper equipment and obey safety instructions: ‘Better safe than sorry!’

News from the EU

Clinical trials with medicines in Europe: Commission proposes to cut red tape

The Commission has adopted a proposal to simplify rules for conducting clinical trials in the EU with the aim of boosting clinical research in Europe. These are vital to develop medicines and to improve and compare the use of already authorised medicines.

Second Health Programme (2008-2013): Awarding of grants for proposals for 2012

The decision from the Commission contains the list of public health projects that will be funded following 2012 call for proposals.

Scientific opinion on threshold of toxicological concern (TTC) approach published

The Scientific Committees SCCS/SCHER/SCENIHR adopted an opinion on the use of TTC approach for human safety assessment of chemicals with focus on cosmetics and consumer products.

EU-level collaboration on forecasting health workforce needs, workforce planning and health workforce trends

This EU Commision feasibility study draws upon 34 country profiles, 12 case studies and a focus discussion with an expert panel.

Depressions and suicides: how to reduce the human cost of the crisis

A workshop titled Mental Health in Times of Economic Crisis was organised by the Parliament's environment committee, to discuss how the crisis is increasingly taking its toll on people's mental health.

Health priorities of the Cypriot Presidency of the EU

The Presidency will focus on addressing serious cross-border health issues and healthy ageing in relation to the European Health Strategy 2008-2013.

Reporting from across Europe


Applications open for Nutrition Awards

The awards, an initiative supported by the national government, reward projects in the area of nutrition in Portugal and promote a healthy lifestyle. Applications are open until 31 July 2012.


Safe water – a new government campaign launched for summer

‘Safe water’ promotes safe behaviour in and on the water to reduce the number of accidents during the summer holidays for children and adolescents.

Forthcoming Events

9th European IUHPE Conference on Health Promotion (Tallinn, 27-29 September 2012)

Organised by the International Union for Health Promotion and Education, the event aims to share and learn from experiences of EU Member States about the impact of the economic decline and search for new solutions for the populations' health.

New Publications

The Right Start to a Healthy Life

Based on research undertaken during GRADIENT project, the book, published by EuroHealthNet, provides final recommendations for policy makers and practitioners to ensure that all children and young people in the EU get the right start to a healthy life.

Health in the EU – Recent achievements

The brochure produced by the European Commission contains information on the latest developments in EU health policy in order to ensure that citizens across the EU fully enjoy their right to health and safety.


Summer season: better safe than sorry!

Activities at EU level

Health-EU – Prevention and promotion

European Commission – DG Health and Consumers

Public Health – Injury Prevention

European Commission – DG Health and Consumers

HEIDI wiki – EU Injury Database (IDB)

European Commission – DG Health and Consumers


Health and safety pays, even in difficult times: EU-OSHA’s Annual Report 2011

In its latest annual report, the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) continues to argue for investment in workplace health and safety, for economic as well as ethical reasons.

Safety 2012 World Conference

The World Health Organization promotes a series of bi-annual World Conferences on Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion. The next conference will be in New Zealand, in October 2012.

EU Health Prize for journalists – Articles

EU Health Prize for Journalists 2012 – Deadline for submissions: 31 July 2012

Journalists are invited to submit articles published in print or online media in any EU Member State between 25 July 2011 and 31 July 2012.

Health Programme Projects

The JAMIE project (Joint Action on Injury Monitoring in Europe)

A series of actions over three years that will lay the ground for a genuine EU-wide injury information system on injuries.

TACTICS (Tools to Address Childhood Trauma, Injury and Child Safety)

A large scale, multi-year initiative working to provide better information, practical tools and resources to support adoption and implementation of evidence-based good practices.

Safety Management for High Risk Sports in Collaboration with European Sports Associations (Safety in Sports)

This project aims to develop, test and implement safety management schemes in sports which cause high numbers of injuries, in particular in team sports with frequent 'one on one' encounters as characteristic of the game. Handball and basketball are two examples of such high risk sports.

Other interesting links

WHO – Violence and Injury Prevention and Disability Programme

WHO Europe – Violence and injuries

European Federation of Road Traffic Victims

European Transport Safety Council

La Prévention Routière Internationale

IOSH – Institution of Occupational Safety and Health

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents

Health-EU. The Public Health Portal of the European Union
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