Key work health and safety statistics booklet Australia 2012

Public health Disability Employment Australia

This publication summarises the main statistics on work-related injury, disease and death produced by Safe Work Australia.

Information shown includes the main types of injuries for which compensation was paid, the cost of injury and incidence rates by industry.

Key statistics:

  • In 2008–09, there were 133 485 workers’ compensation claims for serious1 work-related injuries or illnesses. This equates to an incidence rate of 13.5 serious claims per 1000 employees.
  • Preliminary data for 2009–10 show there were 127 620 serious workers’ compensation claims, which equates to 12.6 serious claims per 1000 employees. While the final number of accepted claims for this year is likely to be around 3% higher, this will still represent an improvement from 2008–09.
  • Male employees experienced nearly twice the rate of serious injury or disease compared with female employees.
  • Incidence rates of serious workers’ compensation claims increase with employee age.
  • The highest incidence rates were recorded by Labourers & related workers, over double the rate for all occupations.
  • The Transport & storage, Manufacturing and Agriculture, forestry & Fishing industries recorded the highest incidence rates of all industries, all with nearly twice the rate for all industries.
  • A typical serious workers’ compensation claim involves four weeks absence from work.
  • One-quarter of serious claims required 12 or more weeks off work.
  • One in five serious claims involved an injury to the back.
  • The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Work Related Injury Survey showed 53 out of every 1000 workers experienced an injury or illness in the workplace in 2009–10. However, half of these incidents involved less than one day or shift absent from work.
  • In 2009–10, 216 workers died due to an injury incurred at work. This equates to 1.9 deaths per 100 000 workers.
  • Work related injury and illness were estimated to cost $60.6 billion in the 2008–09 financial year. This represented 4.8% of GDP.
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