The UL Safety Index is an algorithm-based data science initiative that provides information to make decisions for improved safety and wellbeing. UL has undertaken this initiative to foster safe living and working conditions through the application of science to solve safety, security and sustainability challenges. To increase safety among the countries of the world, we must address safety as a system. Socio-economic factors, policies and programs are all necessary to improve safety. The UL Safety Index quantifies the relative state of safety for more than 180 nations. Access data through a map of the world to explore and analyze safety. Comparisons of the safety data can be made to identify opportunities for sharing policies and programs among governments, NGO’s and safety professionals. Country and theme pages provide specific information and resources for research and policy analysis. To learn more, read the WHITE PAPER.Learn More View Video Explore Data
Worldwide deaths from unintentional injury are expected to grow by 40% between 2015 and 2030, from 3.4 million1 to 4.7 million2 people.
1. Global, regional and national life expectancy, all-cause mortality and cause-specific mortality for 249 causes of death, 1980-2015: A systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2015, Lancet 2016; 388: 1459-544.
2. Global Health Estimates Summary Tables: Projection of Deaths by Cause, Age and Sex. World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland, July 2013.
It is estimated that more than 90% of all deaths worldwide that result from unintentional injury occur in low and middle income countries3.
3. Global Health Estimates Summary Tables: Projection of Deaths by Cause, Age and Sex, by World Bank Income Group. World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland, July 2013.
Five of the 15 leading causes of death in persons 15-29 years of age are unintentional injury related, including road traffic injuries, drowning, burns, poisoning and falls.
The traditional model of safety improvement relies on specific interventions for known hazards. Reliance on this method alone only achieves incremental improvements. However, social and economic environments exert real and lasting effects on health, safety and wellbeing. By addressing societal drivers of safety – such as education poverty and regulatory protections – in addition to specific programs, rapid improvements in safety can be achieved on a national scale.
Using the interactive safety map, one can quickly gain a perspective on the relative state of safety of one or more countries. Click on a country to view its UL Safety Index value, relative status to other countries, gain access to the full data and make informed, predictable and sustainable decisions.
While in the Full Data view, one is taken to a country specific page that provides an overview of the data, time-series history of the index and supports deeper analysis at the driver and indicator level. Brief analysis, supporting input data and global rankings are also provided. Related research, policies and intervention summaries are linked to the country and theme pages, helping to connect data to action.
Create detailed comparison tables of the UL Safety Index, supporting drivers and indicators using the Compare feature. An unlimited number of countries can be viewed side-by-side and the comparison table can be downloaded for offline reference and analysis to support more informed decisions.
Explore the UL Safety Index through maps and graphs, access each country’s Safety Index, the supporting data, and adjust the underlying indices to see how countries measure up to one another and where there are opportunities to improve worldwide safety.
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 data of UL Safety Index are made available under the Open Database Contents License: http://opendatacommons.org/licenses/dbcl/1.0/
The UL Safety Index™ was unveiled in September 2016 at the 12th World Conference on Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion. Since then, academic leaders and practitioners in safety have provided input to the UL Safety Index, resulting in improvements to the algorithm, a new indicator, and updated data. The 2017 release of the UL Safety Index includes updated data for many of the indicators, together resulting in a more refined view of relative safety around the world, and, of course, new rankings. Additionally, a new resource library of injury prevention strategies, policies, and research can assist stakeholders around the world to improve safety.
Another update for 2017 is the inclusion of a new Safety Frameworks Indicator – Road Safety Framework. Based on the Global Status Report on Road Safety 2015 from the World Health Organization (WHO), the Indicator measures the adoption of key regulations and best practices to reduce the burden of injuries from traffic crashes. The Indicator has 44 sub-measures in the areas of Institutional Framework, Safer Vehicle Standards, Safer Roads and Mobility, Safer Road Users, and Post-Crash Care. Developed countries generally have higher adoption of these practices, with Norway, France, Australia, the Czech Republic, and Luxembourg having the top scores for this indicator. Smaller, developing nations, including many island nations are at the lower end of the Indicator. The countries with the lowest value of this Indicator are Micronesia, Afghanistan, Liberia, Guinea-Bissau, and Somalia. A detailed description of the Indicator and the scoring rubric are contained in The Methodology of the UL Safety Index™. Inclusion of the Road Safety Framework in Safety Frameworks reduced the mean value of the Safety Frameworks Driver by 2.86 and the mean value of the UL Safety Index by 0.74. The impact on rankings was an average movement of 4.88 positions with the smallest movement being 0 (several countries) and the largest being Andorra, with a positive movement of 70 positions from 163rd to 93rd due to a strong Road Safety Framework, while other Indicators in Safety Frameworks are relatively weak.
In 2017, The Netherlands remains at the top of the list of relative safety in the UL Safety Index. Australia moves up two positions to number three, right behind Norway, whose ranking is at number two as it was in 2016. Sweden remains at number four, and Canada moves from seventh to number five. At the bottom of the scale, Sub-Saharan Africa continues to have significant challenges, holding all five of the positions with the lowest level of relative safety, as measured by the UL Safety Index. Somalia replaced South Sudan at the bottom of the list, although South Sudan rose only one position. The remaining countries in the bottom five are Guinea-Bissau, The Central African Republic and Djibouti.
|2017 Rank||2016 Rank|
|1||The Netherlands||The Netherlands|
|2017 Rank||2016 Rank|
|2||Central African Republic||Burundi|
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The UL Safety Index is based on the following model of safety:
Incidents of injury, disability and death (lack of safety) are a function of the interaction of people and hazards, amplified or mitigated by socioeconomic forces, protective frameworks, safety interventions and behavior.
Our conceptual model is translated into a quantitative model through the normalization and aggregation of 17 data sets reflecting national-level social, economic and safety data. These indicators are combined into three drivers, each measuring a specific aspect of safety. This section provides an overview of how the UL Safety Index is calculated. For a more thorough review, download the Methodology of the UL Safety Index.
The UL Safety Index quantifies the influence of social forces, protective frameworks and specific outcomes related to unintentional injury. These drivers were selected through research that safety, and health outcomes are influenced by the physical and social environment, as well as individuals and their behavior. The three drivers provide a diverse sampling of data across the physical, social and behavioral domains.
The indicators are measures of economic output, education, technology, governance, codes and standards, consumer protections, labor protections, road safety frameworks and health outcomes. Health outcomes are used as a proxy for human behavior, as at a national level, behavior is too complex to measure. The indicators in the Institutions & Resources and Safety Frameworks drivers have been shown correlated with improve safety outcomes at a statistically significant level.
Intentional injury (crime, terrorism, war and suicide) are not included in the UL Safety Index. There are several indices and data sets available on these topics through other organizations. Other aspects of security, health, sustainability and wellbeing are being evaluated for inclusion in the Index. Future updates may include these aspects of a comprehensive measurement of safety.
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|
|Technology||World Economic Forum|
|Safety Frameworks||Codes and Standards||UL|
|Consumer Protections||Consumers International|
|Road Safety Framework||World Health Organization|
|Safety Outcomes||Transport Injuries||Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation|
|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.