The availability of data on consumer products-related accidents and injuries is of interest to a wide range of stakeholders, such as consumer product safety and injury prevention policymakers, market surveillance authorities, consumer organisations, standardisation organisations, manufacturers and the public. While the amount of information available and potentially of use for product safety is considerable in some European Union (EU) countries, its usability at EU level is difficult due to high fragmentation of the data sources, the diversity of data collection methods and increasing data protection concerns. To satisfy the policy need for more timely information on consumer product-related incidents, apart from injury data that have been historically collected by the public health sector, a number of 'alternative' data sources were assessed as potential sources of interest. This study explores the opportunities for enhancing the availability of data of consumer product-related injuries, arising from selected existing and 'alternative' data sources, widely present in Europe, such as firefighters’ and poison centres’ records, mortality statistics, consumer complaints, insurance companies’ registers, manufacturers’ incident registers and online news sources. These data sources, coupled with the use of IT technologies, such as interlinking by remote data access, could fill in the existing information gap. Strengths and weaknesses of selected data sources, with a view to support a common data platform, are evaluated and presented. Conducting the study relied on the literature review, extensive use of the surveys, interviews, workshops with experts and online data-mining pilot study.
- policy analysis
- qualitative research
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Correction notice The article has been corrected since it is published. The email address for corresponding author has been updated.
Funding This study was funded in the context of the European Union Consumer Programme 2014–2020 and was carried out from March 2016 to November 2017. European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) (Directorate F-Health, Consumers and Reference Materials) provided scientific and technical support to the Directorate General for Justice and Consumers (DG JUST), via the administrative arrangement (AA) entitled 'Technical and Scientific Support in the area of injury and accident data collection for product safety and market surveillance' (DG JUST No JUST/2015/CONS/AA/CO03/0123, JRC No 34217).
Disclaimer The information and views set out in this study are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official opinion of the European Commission. The European Commission does not guarantee the accuracy of the data included in this study. The European Commission, or any person acting on the European Commission’s behalf, may not be held responsible for the use which may be made of the information contained therein.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting, or dissemination plans of this research.
Patient consent for publication Not required.
Ethics approval This study is low risk and does not require ethics statement.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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