In 2015, 3 497 fatal accidents occurred at work in the European Union (EU). This represents a standardised incidence rate of 2.4 fatal accidents per 100,000 workers. Standardised incidence rates assume that the relative sizes of economic activities within each national economy are the same as within the EU as a whole. The aim is to eliminate differences in the structures of countries' economies, so data can be more easily interpreted.
Across Member States, the lowest standardised incidence rates were registered in the Netherlands (0.8 per 100,000 workers, Sweden (1.2), Germany (1.3), Denmark (1.4), Cyprus (1.5) and the United Kingdom (1.6), while the highest rate was recorded in Romania (7.5), ahead of Portugal (4.6), Luxembourg (4.4), Bulgaria and Lithuania (4.3 each).
According to the European statistics on accidents at work (ESAW), "fatal accidents" are defined as the ones that lead to the death of the victim within one year after the accident took place. In more general terms, an accident at work is defined as an occurrence in the course of work, which leads to physical or mental harm of the person concerned.
The number of accidents in a particular year is likely to be related to some extent to the overall level of economic activity of a country and the total number of people employed in its economy.
This information is published by Eurostat on the occasion of World Day for Safety and Health at Work, an annual international campaign to promote safe, healthy and decent work, which is held on 28 April.
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