In our modern society, safeguarding employees is a priority. Despite the health and safety horror stories we hear, it’s fair to say that a large proportion of European workers can work in safety with little fear for their health.
This is largely a result of 1989’s European Framework Directive on Safety and Health at Work (Directive 89/391 EEC), which outlined the minimum safety standards at work in countries across Europe.
However, this blanket recommendation only provides the minimum requirements. As there is no upper boundary, health and safety standards fluctuate across Europe as different countries go above and beyond to further safeguard their employees.
But can you tell which countries are the most committed to health and safety by looking at their incident rates? QA International, a fully accredited quality assurance certification body, examines the facts and figures to determine which European country is the safest to work in.
While every precaution should be taken by employers to keep fatal injuries to an absolute minimum, it isn’t always possible.
Based on standardised incidence rates per 100,000 workers in 2012, the UK has the lowest rate of fatal injuries at work across all EU countries with 0.58 incidents per 100,000 workers. This is followed closely by the Netherlands, Sweden and Germany — all with less than one injury per 100,000 workers on average.
Surprisingly, some of Europe’s most prominent countries, like Italy, Spain and France, have high incident rates — 1.29, 1.99 and 2.64 per 100,000 workers respectively.