Study compares worker deaths in U.S., EU

BLS and Eurostat logos

Washington – Researchers measuring workplace fatalities in the United States and European Union found several differences by industry, but say more work is needed for a thorough comparison.

In a joint review of worker-related deaths across continents, the Bureau of Labor Statistics and Eurostat (the statistical office of the EU) analyzed data from 2010. Because of differences in the way the United States and European Union report worker incidents, the agencies focused on fatalities and adjusted several criteria to match.

Overall, researchers said, the EU rate for worker fatalities in the main industry branches was 2.8 deaths per 100,000 employees. The U.S. rate was equivalent to 3.1 deaths per 100,000 employees.

Differences emerged when researchers compared the percentage of worker deaths in the United States and European Union.

  • Construction: 20.9 percent in U.S.; 26.5 percent in EU
  • Manufacturing: 14.9 percent in U.S.; 19.3 percent in EU
  • Transportation and storage: 21.0 percent in U.S.; 18.5 percent in EU
  • Accommodation and food service: 4.4 percent in U.S.; 1.4 percent in EU

However, BLS officials cautioned against reading too much into the data. The main purpose of the analysis was to show that a comparison was possible and to prompt further research, they said.