Latest national WHS statistics offer insight into current safety climate
Safe Work Australia has just released key WHS statistics report for 2019. This report includes statistical data on Work-related Traumatic Injury Fatalities and Work-related injury and disease. This data includes all workers and bystanders injured at work up to and including 2018. Giving us the most current insight possible into work health and safety in Australia.
Safe Work Australia has been collecting and comparing data on workplace fatalities since 2003. The peak of work-related injury fatalities in this time was in 2007, with approximately 3 fatalities per 100,000 workers. Since this time, the fatality rate has been decreasing, with a 62% decrease in 2018 compared with 2007. In 2018, there were 144 fatalities, equalling 1.1 fatalities per 100,000 Australian workers.
Key statistics to note:
- 83% of workplace fatalities in 2018 were males;
- The highest fatality rate fell in the 55-64 age group, being 31 fatalities or 1.7 fatalities per 100,000 workers.
- The occupations with the highest number of fatalities were; Machinery operators and drivers, labourers and trades workers.
- 7% of workplace fatalities in 2018 were within one of the following industries; Agriculture, Transport/Warehousing and Construction.
- NT has the highest fatality rate for 2018 at 2.2 fatalities per 100,000 workers.
- The top 3 mechanisms of fatal injury in 2018 were vehicle collision, being hit by moving objects and fall from height.
- 31% of work-related injury fatalities were as a result of a vehicle collision.
The 2019 key WHS statistics also include data on work-related injury and disease, stemming from workers compensation claims data provided by workers’ compensation authorities. In 2018 there was a total of 107,335 serious workers compensation claims. For the purpose of the data, serious claims are those where one week or more off work was required. The median time lost for serious claims was 5.8 weeks. Median compensation paid was $11,300 per claim.
Key statistics to note:
- 1 serious workers compensation claims per 1000 employees
- Approximately 64% of claims were by males.
- The highest incidence rate was in the 45-49 year and 50-54 year age brackets. With both age groups accounting for approximately 13,500 serious claims, each.
- The top three mechanisms of incidents were found to be body stressing, slips, trips and falls and being hit by moving objects.
- Body stressing was found to be the cause of 36% of all work-related injuries.
- ¼ of all injuries were found to be to the arms and upper limbs.
- The most at-risk occupations were found to be labourers, community and personal service workers and trades workers.
- Psychological injury accounted for 8% of all work-related injuries.
These statistics will likely inform the focus areas for both Safe Work Australia and the state regulators over the coming months. They should also be carefully considered by all employers and inform the work health and safety initiatives within your organisation. The key takeaway from these statistics is that workplace fatality and work-related injury are very much prevalent across industry sectors and occupations.
Read the full report here: https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/system/files/documents/1911/key_whs_stats_australia_2019.pdf