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ILSE calls for EU-funded accident and injury data system

On the occasion of the 15th European Consumer Day, organised by the European Economic and Social Committee on 14 March 2013 in Brussels, ILSE in a coalition with 27 other European umbrella organisations launched a Joint Call urging European Institutions and the Member States to create an EU-funded accident & injury data system under the co-ordination of the European Commission.

EuroSafe published last week the fourth edition of Injuries in the European Union. The report reveals that an annual average of 41 million people within the EU need hospital treatment and 233.000 people die as a result of an injury event. This is not only an extraordinarily high number but these injuries also contribute to significant healthcare costs, a share that is estimated at 78 billion Euros each year.

Three-quarter of such accidents occur at home or while engaged in leisure, including sports. There are great differences between countries in the number of fatal and hospital treated accidental injuries per 100.000 inhabitants. This clearly indicates that there exist ample opportunities for rolling out measures that lowered injury rates across the entire EU-region.

Drownings are after road traffic injuries in Europe on rank 2 of the leading causes of death for children between 1 and 14 years.

Aiming to reduce the number of preventable injuries – especially drownings – and also healthcare costs, ILSE together with a broad coalition of European business groups, consumer organisations, standardisation bodies and safety promoters urge the European Commission to found and fund an EU-wide accident and injury data system in a representative sample of emergency centres.
We are convinced that such a system would contribute to safer water environments and safer products for consumers, better standards and regulations, and fewer accidents and injuries. Moreover, the cost of creating such a system would be more than offset by reductions in health care costs.
Wim Rogmans, Secretary-General of EuroSafe, handed over on behalf of the 28 EU-level organisations the joint call for a pan-European accident and injury data system to the European Commissioner for Health and Consumer Tonio Borg.