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New Report Reveals Fragmented Global Safety Landscape
Gallup Blog

New Report Reveals Fragmented Global Safety Landscape

While many countries around the world have signed on to international safety conventions and have laws and regulations in place, a new report from Lloyd's Register Foundation and Gallup finds that implementation and enforcement are weak in many countries. In addition, monitoring and gathering data on work-related injuries are "occasional, at best" in most countries. And globally, safety and risk data in general are patchy -- if these data exist at all.

The recently released report, Mapping Risk, is a compendium of some of the main data sources on safety and risk available from around the world. The report explores areas where data collection is poor and needs improving, as well as where the number of accidents is high. It also highlights data gaps and the need to collect better and more data to support the best possible decision-making on accident prevention and improved safety.

Understanding where the data gaps exist is important because they can tell us where poor safety is at fault. There are "hidden burdens of injury" in many parts of the world -- places where people may be being hurt frequently because of poor safety. And because accidents -- and even deaths -- aren't being recorded, safety measures are not implemented to prevent future deaths and injuries.

Among the key findings:

  • Globally, there are around 340 million occupational accidents and 160 million victims of work-related diseases each year. The corresponding loss of workdays accounts for almost 4% of the world's GDP, or some $3.2 trillion USD.
  • Risk and safety data are often dispersed and fragmented, and there is no single set of health and safety performance indicators.

  • In the U.S., 5,147 workers died on the job in 2017 -- 14 deaths, on average, every day. Of the total, 4,674 worker fatalities were in private industry, of which 971 people, or 20.7%, were in the construction sector.

  • In the European Union, there were over 3,000 work-related fatalities in 2015. The European Union's Occupational Safety and Health Agency (OSHA) estimates that work-related ill health and injury cost the European Union around 3.3% of its GDP a year, or some €476 billion (approximately $562 billion USD).

  • While some countries provide comprehensive data on topics such as occupational risk and safety, others provide very patchy data, if any. Data quality and reliability vary.

  • Reliable and credible safety data and consistent monitoring do not exist in usable formats for many countries in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America.

But even in higher-income countries, and for entities that collect risk and safety data, there are issues with coverage and important methodological differences, which mean the true picture of global safety is still opaque.

With this report and the new Lloyd's Register Foundation World Risk Poll, Gallup and Lloyd's Register Foundation will work closely over the coming years to identify and close the gap between actual and perceived risk in different areas -- and help make people safer.

Gallup and Lloyd's Register Foundation will report the results of the inaugural Lloyd's Register Foundation World Risk Poll in 2020.

Download the new Mapping Risk report.

Learn more about the questionnaire development process and the type of topics examined in the testing phases of the study.

Get updates from Gallup on the latest news about this project.


Julie Ray is a writer and editor at Gallup.

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