• Standardized incidence of work injuries among employees aged under 18 years (Line chart)
  • Standardized incidence of work injuries among employees aged under 18 years (Bar chart)
  • Standardized incidence of work injuries among employees aged under 18 years (Map)
Data set notes
Environment and Health

Indicators: 59
Updated: 26 May 2016
Downloads: 273

Indicator notes

Data source
EUROSTAT: standardized incidence of accidents at work by economic activity, injury severity and age (1).

Description of data
The EUROSTAT data on the incidence of work injuries are based on data collected under the European Statistics on Accidents at Work (ESAW) project.

Method of calculating the indicator
Standardized incidence of nonfatal work injuries resulting in more than three days of absence from work among employees under 18 and between 18 and 24 years old per 100 000 employed persons in the same age group.
Computation: incidence = No. of nonfatal injuries divided by No. of employed persons in the studied population x 100 000.
Incidence was calculated in ten categories of the EU Classification of Economic Activities (NACE): agriculture, hunting and forestry; manufacturing; electricity, gas and water supply; construction; wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles, motorcycles and personal and household goods; hotels and restaurants; transport, storage and communication; financial intermediation; and real estate, renting and business activities (12). A standardized number of accidents at work per 100 000 persons in employment was calculated per Member State by giving each category the same weight at the national level as in the entire EU (standardized incidence) (13).

Geographical coverage
A total of 16 EU countries and Norway reported non-fatal work injury data for workers under 18 years old, while 17 EU countries and Norway reported data for workers between 18 and 24 years old. For Portugal, the incidence for workers under 18 years old was not reported to EUROSTAT and thus could not be presented here. The incidence data for Germany were last updated in 2005. Luxembourg data are not displayed in this fact sheet because of the possibility of statistical bias.

Period of coverage

Frequency of update

Data quality
Only data on workers and workplace injuries collected within the ESAW project are included in this assessment. Because of the differences among countries in health care systems and data collection methods, the data on non-fatal injuries are difficult to compare directly.

The variation in the standardized incidence of work injuries among reporting countries can be partially explained by the fact that individuals under 18 years old change their jobs frequently, for example during or between periods of studying.

Many young people under 18 years old work occasionally either as trainees (as part of their studies or during holiday periods) or do occasional work for other reasons. Work injuries among temporary workers (such as seasonal workers) and regular workers are combined in data collection. The Labor Force Survey (LFS) in the United Kingdom does not, however, count temporary workers as employed persons (unless they happen to work during the week of the survey, which is not very likely). This results in a situation in which all work-related injuries for occasional and regular workers are counted in the numerator, while the denominator includes only regularly employed persons. Young workers commuting from neighboring countries may also often be missed in the denominator.

These challenges in work-injury surveillance might have resulted in an overestimation of the incidence for countries with a greater number of temporary or migrant workers. For example, one third of the workforce in Luxembourg commutes daily to and from neighboring countries. However, it is unknown whether the potential for overestimation is as significant from a public health or policy perspective as the potential for underestimation due to widespread and chronic underreporting of workplace injuries.

Suggestions for further monitoring
It is important to improve the monitoring of work injuries and working conditions of young employees. The calculation should be based on the denominator of full-time equivalents (FTEs). But for workers under 18 years old, the LFS-based data will always remain biased, as the labor market situation involving these young people changes many times during a year.

A pan-European information system on workers’ health is necessary to ensure reliable and comparable information on the health and safety of the working population, including children and young people. Such a system would support the identification of occupational health hazards across the Region, as well as the planning, implementation and monitoring of interventions to improve work conditions and prevent work injuries.

Of note, EUROSTAT work injury statistics cover several economic sectors, including the most hazardous occupations such as electricity, gas and construction work. Standardized incidence is aggregated, so no conclusion can be drawn about the differential effects of working conditions across various economic sectors.
Country notes
No information