european unionWorkers in the United States were killed on the job at three times the rate of their peers in the United Kingdom in 2010, according to a study published online Sept. 30 in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine. Authors John Mendeloff, and Laura Staetsky, both PhDs, also found that U.S. construction workers' fatality rate was four times the U.K. rate in 2010 — a difference that has grown substantially since the 1990s.

For the study,Occupational fatality risks in the United States and the United Kingdom, Mendeloff and Staetsky compared the rate of work injury fatalities (excluding deaths due to highway motor vehicle crashes and those due to violence) identified by the U.S. Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries in recent years with the number reported to the Health and Safety Executive in the United Kingdom (UK) and by other European Union (EU) members through Eurostat.

The researchers found that several other EU members had rates almost as low as the UK rate. Across EU countries, lower rates were associated with high-level management attention to safety issues and to in-house preparation of “risk assessments.”

“Although work fatality rates have declined in the US, fatality rates are much lower and have declined faster in recent years in the UK, according to the study’s authors. “Efforts to find out the reasons for the much better UK outcomes could be productive.”