Safe Work Australia Releases Latest Data on Workers Compensation Across Australia
Safe Work Australia has recently released a report on the latest insight into Australia’s Workers Compensation Statistics. Safe Work Australia releases this data annually, providing a unique insight into the Australian work health and safety climate. The report informs on the 2017-2018 data, in which period there were 107,335 serious worker’s compensation claims. The report breaks down these claims by industry, demographic data, occupation and industry type. As well as comparing these statistics over an 18 year period.
The key resonating findings from the analysis of the 2017-2018 data includes the following:
- Male employees accounted for 63% of serious claims.
- Workers aged 45-54yrs accounted for 25% of all serious claims.
- The Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services industry was found to have a 5.1 per 1000 employee’s incident rate for serious claims.
- Serious claims data considered by occupation found, 14% of serious claims were experienced by machine operators and drivers and 10% were experience by professionals.
- Body stressing has consistently been the primary mechanism of injury or disease over the 18 year period. Equating for 36% of all serious claims in 2017-2018.
- A 12% increase has been noted in Mental Stress related claims between 2000-2001 and 2017-2018.
- Median time lost for serious claims has increased from 4.2 working weeks in 2000-2001 to 5.8 working weeks in the latest data.
- The total number of serious claims have been decreasing as a trend between 2000-2001 and 2017-2018.
The important learnings from this report include:
- The high serious claim rate across all industries as a result of body stressing. High rate of musculoskeletal disorders as a result of body stressing, will likely result in an ongoing focus on manual handling safety. Training and awareness of good manual handling practices is essential. In addition to the availability and maintenance of mechanical aids to avoid manual handling wherever possible.
- Additionally, the significant number of incidents experienced by machine operators and drivers reinforces the importance of controls to ensure the safe use of mechanical equipment in the workplace. This includes but is not limited to; diligent training and licensing processes, machinery maintenance and servicing, signage and traffic management etc.
- The consistent increase in serious claims relating to mental stress reinforces the need for awareness and support practices for workplace mental health. Safe Work Australia released a resource on this topic in 2019.
- As median time lost following an injury remains high, it is essential to place focus on a positive and effective return to work process.
Overall, in the 18year period of these statistics, Work Health and Safety is an increasing focus in the Australian Workforce. As such, due diligence and workplace responsibility as an ongoing priority should see the workers compensation claim statistics continue to decrease as an overall.
Read the report in its entirety here.