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The UL Safety Index is a data science initiative intended to increase the global awareness of health, security, sustainability and safety through information, dialog and collaboration. Through engagement with partners throughout the world, our vision is to advance safe living and working environments for people everywhere by providing better data and metrics to guide decision making and investments.
The UL Safety Index is a collaborative effort spearheaded by Underwriters Laboratories Inc.
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The UL Safety Index (the Index) is constructed through the calculation and aggregation of 16 indicators reflecting national-level social, economic and safety data. These indicators are combined into three drivers, each related to a specific aspect of safety. This section provides an overview of how The UL Safety Index is calculated.
The UL Safety Index measures the influence of social forces, protective frameworks and specific health outcomes related to safety. These three drivers were selected through research that determined that safety, and health outcomes in general, are influenced by the physical environment and the social environment as well as individuals and their behavior. The three drivers – Institutions and Resources, Safety Frameworks and Safety Outcomes provide a diverse sampling of data across the physical, social and behavioral domains.
The 16 indicators are measures of wealth, education, technology, governance, codes and standards, consumer protections, labor protections and health outcomes. Health outcomes related to unintentional injury are used a proxy for human behavior, as at a national level, behavior is not a meaningful measure.
Selection Criteria for Data in the The UL Safety Index
Relevance: The indicator has been statistically shown to correlate with safety outcomes.
Performance orientation: The indicator provides empirical data for the issue of concern, or it is a “best available data” proxy for the outcome measures.
Specificity: The indicator provides a measure of the aspect of safety under consideration, yet does not add additional considerations not related to our topic.
Data quality: The data represent the best available measure. All potential datasets are reviewed for quality and verifiability. Those that do not meet baseline quality standards are discarded.
Completeness: The dataset must have adequate global coverage to be considered.
Normalizing the input indicators: The source data for the sixteen indicators that are used in the Safety Index algorithm have differing scales and values. In order to normalize the data for use in the algorithm, the base data were converted into indices between 0 and 100. The indices were calculated using the formula below:
Thus, the index for the best performing country on a specific indicator will be 100, and the worst-performing country will be 0.
Combining indicators to form drivers: The Institutions & Resources Driver is assessed through the arithmetic mean of the indicators of Wealth, Technology, Government Effectiveness and Education.
The Safety Framework of each country is quantified by the use of the arithmetic mean of the indicators for Codes and Standards, Consumer Protections and Labor Protections.
Finally, Safety Outcomes are assessed through the arithmetic mean of the normalized indicators reflecting the Disability Adjusted Life Years per 100,000 of population for causes associated with unintentional injury.
When an indicator for a particular driver is not available for one or more countries, this indicator is not included in the numerator and the denominator is reduced appropriately. For example, if the indicator for Consumer Protections is not available for a country, the resulting Safety Frameworks driver for that country would be calculated as:
Use of this technique ensures that no country is penalized or rewarded for missing indicator data.
The UL Safety Index uses data from multilateral organizations, government agencies, and academic collaborations. Primary sources of data are The World Bank, UN Development Programme, World Economic Forum, Consumers International, the World Health Organization and Underwriters Laboratories (UL).
|The UL Safety Index||Institutions & Resources||GDP per capita||World Bank|
|Education||UN Development Programme|
|Government Effectiveness||World Bank|
|Network Readiness||World Economic Forum|
|Safety Frameworks||Codes and Standards||International Standards Organization, International Electro-Technical Commission, Regional Standards Organizations|
|Consumer Protections||Consumers International|
|Safety Outcomes||Transport Injuries||Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), University of Washington|
|Fires, heat and hot substances|
|Exposure to mechanical forces|
|Injuries due to foreign bodies|
|Exposure to forces of nature|
|Other unintentional injury|
With the exception of the Labor Protections indicator, which is based on UL’s Labor Rights Index, all sources of data are publicly available and include official statistics measured and formally reported by governments to international organizations. These data may or may not be independently verified but are included only if formally reported to international organizations. The UL Safety Index does not include ad hoc data submitted by governments directly to the UL team.
By creating an account on The UL Safety Index, you will have access to the world’s leading safety data and resources. Compare countries, research dynamic resources and explore data structures based on your inputs.Register