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Which EU country is the most dangerous place to work?

Going to work every day shouldn't pose a risk to your health. Over the last century, businesses have been working hard to improve health and safety standards so you don’t have to go to work worrying for your life. At Shoes For Crews our main goal is to keep workers safe at work with our slip-resistant shoes, so out of interest we wanted to have a look at the statistics and find out which country in Europe has the worst health and safety records.


Which EU country do you think is the most dangerous place to work? We think you might be surprised by the results



We looked at the European comparisons by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to get hold of the results. As each European country has different health and safety expectations, the European statistical office (Eurostat) has standardised the statistics to get results we can compare fairly.


The survey looks at 12 common working sectors such as agriculture, construction and manufacturing.


Which country had the highest fatal injuries at work in Europe?

Fatal Injury Graph from European Comparisons by HSE


The United Kingdom has the lowest rates of fatal injury at work, the results reveal 0.58 per 100,000 workers.


Germany   0.9 per 100,000 workers

Italy            1.29 per 100,000 workers

Spain         1.99 per 100,000 workers

France       2.64 per 100,000 workers


The country with the highest incident rate was Latvia with 4.7 in 100,000.


Which country has the highest recordings of injury resulting in sick leave?

Workers who had to take sick leave graph from European Comparisons by HSE


When looking at the stats for injury occurred at work that resulted in the worker having to take sick leave, Bulgaria had the lowest with 0.3 %.


United Kingdom  1.4%

Spain                   1.8%

Italy                      1.8%

France                 3.1%


There is no data for Germany.


Austria had the highest results of 3.5% closely followed by Switzerland and Finland at 3.3%.


Which working population believes their health is in danger at work?

Health and safety risk graph from European Comparisons by HSE


The European surveys also asked European workers what they thought about their work and whether they thought their job put their health and safety at risk. These are the responses they received:


Denmark had the lowest number of people who thought their health was at risk because of their work with a result of 15.5%.


United Kingdom  17.6%

Italy                     17.5%

Germany            19.1%

France               24.6%

Spain                 32.9%


47.2 % of the people who were surveyed in Latvia believe their health at work was at risk.


Which country regularly carries out workplace risk assessments?

Workplace risk assessment is an important and necessary requirement for businesses who care about the health and well being of their workers and customers.


Italy had the highest percentage of 94.6% of establishments who regularly conduct workplace risk assessments.


United Kingdom  91.9%

Spain                  89.7%

Germany            66.2%

France                56.1%


Luxembourg had the lowest number of establishments that regularly completed risk assessments with only 37.3%.


Which country is the most dangerous place to work in Europe? 

Based on these statistics Latvia was recorded to have the highest number of fatalities caused at work and not surprisingly Latvia also had the highest results for how many people believed their health at work was at risk.




From the results found in the European Comparison study by HSE, Latvia was recorded as the most dangerous place to work.


The United Kingdom had the least fatal injuries at work with 0.58 of every 100,000 workers compared to Latvia's recordings of 4.7. There is not a massive difference between the two results, but these numbers can improve.


France did not score too favourably. They had 2.64 fatalities at work per 100,000 workers and France had the 4th highest number of workers having sick leave after being injured at work. As just over fifty per cent of establishments in France had regular risk assessments, this could suggest if more businesses had regular checks, they could improve their other statistics.


Germany had the fourth lowest fatality rates at work and they were just behind the UK on the number of workers who believed they were safe at work. Only 66.2% of establishments regularly had risk assessments taken but from the scores it can suggest they have effective health and safety checks in place.



Being safe at work is the responsibility of your employer and yourself. It's important before you start any job you get the correct clothing, footwear and pay attention during safety training. Overall fatal injury statistics show a downward trend over the period 1998-2012 for all European countries, showing there has been an increasing determination to improve health and safety at work.


At Shoes For Crews we have been creating professional work shoes for employees since 1984. Slips, trips and falls are the most common cause of injury to a worker and can put your life at risk or threaten the safety of the people around you. Our slip-resistance footwear has a 5 star HSL rating which is the highest score to receive for safety footwear.


We have an ambition to keep people safe at work so you can worry about getting your job done rather than having to worry about your health.


Do you know what type of shoes you should be wearing for work? Have a look at our 'choose your work shoes' decision tree to find the right shoes for your occupation.



If you want to see more data about the other EU countries you can see the European comparisons by the HSE. What did you think of the results? Surprised? Tell us in the comments below.

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