Fatal Injury Rate at Work by Country

Ryoichi HORIGUCHI

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A Disparity of over 30-fold exists in injury mortality rates at work among countries - Updated 25 January 2013

According to data on occupational fatal accidents, it reveals that there is a large disparity among countries. Based on two different sources,

  • ILO, Introductory Report: Decent Work - Safe Work, Geneva: International Labour Office, 2005, pp. 33-39;
  • Päivi Hämäläinen, Jukka Takala, Kaija Leena Saarela, 'Global estimates of occupational accidents', Safety Science 44, 2006, pp. 145-153,

I calculate annual fatality rates by country respectively by using the following equation with the figures of total employment and fatal accidents provided in the report and the paper:

Fatal accidents (per year)

Fatality rate = ------------------------------------- x 100 000

Total employment

The first result (see Table 1 below) based on Introductory Report (hereafter mentioned as ILO report) shows that Iceland is ranked at the lowest fatality rate among 119 countries while Namibia at the highest one. On the other hand, the second result (see Table 2 below) based on the paper by researchers belonging to Tampere University of Technology (TUT) and ILO (hereafter as TUT paper) is more or less different from the first result, but still, the similarity between the two results can be found. In particular, UK at the second lowest fatality rate is estimated to be 0.84 in the first result and 0.83 in the second, while Myanmar almost at the highest fatality rate is estimated at 24.2 and at 26.0 respectively. Knowing that there is around 30-fold disparity between UK and Myanmar, it is clear that a disparity of over 30-fold exists worldwide from country to country in terms of occupational fatal injury rates. The two results are as follows.

Table 1: ILO 119 - Occupational Fatal Injury Rates among 119 Countries based on ILO report (the data as of 2001)

N.B. Kenya, Togo and Chad removed from the list due to their supposed inaccuracy of the data, and the other 66 countries mentioned in the ILO report also removed due to lack of data. And the number of fatal accidents in UK does not include, among others, almost all work-related fatalities caused by road traffic accidents. As for this, I thank Mr. Peter Gotch, Senior Consultant of Occupational and Public Health and Safety, for his expertise.

Table 2: TUT 100 - Occupational Fatal Injury Rates among 100 Countries based on TUT paper (the research conducted during 2001-2002)

N.B. Morocco, Gabon, Angola, Burkina Faso and Chad removed from the list due to their supposed inaccuracy of the data, and the other 83 countries mentioned in the TUT paper also removed due to lack of data. And the number of fatal accidents in UK does not include, among others, almost all work-related fatalities caused by road traffic accidents. As for this, I thank Mr. Peter Gotch, Senior Consultant of Occupational and Public Health and Safety, for his expertise.