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Towards a Europe-wide database of accidents and injuries

13 March 2013
by BEUC -- last modified 14 March 2013

A broad coalition of European organisations has come together to call on the European Commission to propose setting up a Pan-European Accident and Injury Data System. They are convinced that such a system would contribute to fewer accidents and injuries. Moreover, the cost of creating such a system would be more than offset by reductions in health care costs.


Roughly 5.7 million people are admitted to hospital annually as a result of injuries sustained in accidents. 34 million others are treated as outpatients.

41 million injuries per year is not only an extraordinarily high number but also contribute to significant healthcare costs (estimated at €78 billion each year). 73% of such accidents occur at home or while engaged in leisure, including sports.

Aiming to reduce the number of preventable injuries and also healthcare costs, European business groups, consumer organisations, standardisation bodies and safety promoters together urge the European Commission to establish an EU-wide accident and injury data system.

To mark the 15th annual European Consumer Day, 28 organisations have joined forces to stress the need to tackle the current disorder of data collection. There is a clear need for a system that allows data to be more easily compared across Europe.

Trailing more than 30 years behind a proven and successful US-system5, an adequately funded single European database would prompt significant decreases in the costs associated with the medical treatment of injuries.  

Such a European injury and accident database would require a representative sample of emergency centres to record the cause of such accidents. Using this resource, national authorities would then pool and share the data into a European system, helping manufacturers to adapt their products, providing a basis for public awareness-raising campaigns, assisting legislators and surveillance authorities and standardisers to make more informed risk assessment decisions and developing better product standards.

BEUC, The European Consumer Organisation has a membership of 40 well respected, independent national consumer organisations from 30 European countries (EU, EEA and applicant countries). BEUC acts as the umbrella group in Brussels for these organisations and our main task is to represent our members and defend the interests of all Europe's consumers.

BEUC, the European Consumers' Organisation