Injuries: introduction

Injuries are a leading cause of death among the European population. After cardiovascular disease, cancer and respiratory disease, injury is the fourth most common cause of death in the European Union and the "killer number one" in young ages (European Commission 2014; also see Injuries in the European Union 2008-10 (4.2Mb)).

The risk of death and severe injury is particularly high in such diverse areas as the home, leisure activities and sports, road transportation, the workplace, and in connection with consumer products and services. Injuries are often classified as unintentional (due to accidents) and intentional (due to self harm or interpersonal violence). Increasingly the term "injury" is preferred to "accidents" as the latter implies events are inevitable and unavoidable whereas a high proportion of these incidents are now regarded as being preventable.

The network of Public Health Observatories (now part of Public Health England), in collaboration with a number of key academic institutions have established an Injury Observatory for Britain and Ireland  (IOBI). The purpose of IOBI is to support injury prevention practitioners by making important and relevant information and tools available through one site, including: analyses of injury trends across countries and regions; links to injury policies and strategies; an injury prevention evidence base and, access to practical prevention tools.

IOBI in partnership with the Collaboration for Accident Prevention and Injuries Control (CAPIC) also produce a free injury prevention newsletter providing information on new injury initiatives, statistical and research publications, conferences and training events. Copies of these newsletters are available from the IOBI website.

The data pages in this section summarise the available Scottish data whilst providing links to more detailed data and information available, grouped under following sections: population surveys, secondary care, road traffic injuries, workplace injuries, mortality and UK and international comparison .

Detailed information on injuries related to assaults and homicide can be found in the Violence section of our website.