The cost of injury and illness for Australian employers, workers and the community 2005-06

6 Apr 2009

This report updates the estimated total cost of work-related injuries and illnesses.This report updates the report released by the National Occupational Health and Safety Commission (NOHSC) in 2004 which estimated the total cost of work-related injuries and illnesses for the year 2000-01 to be 34 billion dollars or 5 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP).

The updated estimate has been derived using the same methodology as was used in the previous NOHSC study which was independently reviewed.

Key findings of the report include:

• The total economic cost of work-related injuries and illnesses for the 2005-06 financial year is estimated to be 57.5 billion dollars, representing 5.9 per cent of GDP for the 2005-06 financial year.

• This represents a significant increase in costs as a proportion of GDP from the 2000-01 estimate which was 5 per cent of GDP.

• This change is largely as a result of the relative growth in average weekly earnings over this period relative to GDP. While GDP grew by 40 per cent in the period, average weekly earnings increased by 66 per cent. Since earnings are a key driver in the level of costs, any increase in wages over GDP growth will have the effect of increasing costs as a proportion of GDP.

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