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205 The UL Safety Index: quantifying safety around the world
  1. David Wroth,
  2. Ahreum Han
  1. Underwriters Laboratories (UL), USA


Background Assessing the state of safety amongst countries is complex, leading to poor prioritisation of resources amongst safety professionals and policy makers. The UL Safety Index is a quantification of relative safety based on societal influences and unintentional death and injury.

Methods The relationship between the indicators (societal influences and safety frameworks) and outcomes was modelled. Indicators were transformed into an index ranging from 0 (worst) to 1 (best):

Drivers were computed as the arithmetic mean of the Indicators:

The UL Safety Index is the geometric mean of the three Driver Indices:

Statistical analysis of indicators and drivers against injury data confirmed correlation with outcomes.

Results Western industrialised nations are at the top of the Safety Index. Sub-Saharan Africa has much to gain from investment in safety drivers. As the Index includes factors of wealth, education and governance, human development and infrastructure issues influence the results. Consequently, solutions that address basic needs will also improve safety. South Central Asia also lags in the Index. Many of the same influences for Africa apply here as well and their Index is also affected by limited participation in international standards development.

Conclusions The relationship between societal drivers and safety outcomes confirm the need for multi-layered improvement strategies. Investment in governance, education, technology, infrastructure and economic development are correlated with fewer unintentional deaths and injuries. This implies that safety outcomes are improved through investment in key development areas. Safety science will continue to be part of a comprehensive approach as hazard mitigation and behaviour change also improve safety outcomes. The UL Safety Index improves visibility into needed investments, leading to initiatives that will save lives globally.

  • Unintentional Injury
  • Safety Outcomes
  • Safety Index

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