Work-related Injuries

In this post, we will take a look at the latest statics on Workplace injuries. Check out our previous post if you are looking for data on fatalities. The full report from Safe Work Australia can be found here:

The way Safe Work Australia looks at injuries is to look at what they call serious claims. A serious claim is any claim that has a worker off work for more than one week. I think this is a good statistic to look at if wanting to consider injuries that are likely to have a big impact on the workplace both in terms of cost as well as lost time from workers.


Overall Serious Claims Experience:

Across the board, there were approximately 114 1000 serious claims in Australia with a frequency rate of around about 5.7 per million hours worked. This is slightly up on the previous two years measured and seems to be showing a little bit of a bottoming out of an otherwise positive trend downwards in serious injuries.



Gender differences:

Females have a slightly lower overall claim rate, but I slightly longer average time lost per claim. The average claim in this category (for both genders) is around six weeks which is quite significant! Females also have a slightly reduced average compensation paid per claim. It is always worth being cautious when analysing this type of data, and not ascribing unnecessary cause. In my opinion, as with most data to do with gender, any differences will likely have an influence from the proportions of workers working in different industries.


Mechanism of Injury:

Mechanism is a really important area to look at, as it should really help guide some of our work health and safety interventions. In line with previous data, body stressing was by far the largest source of serious claims, representing 36% of all injuries with slips trips, and falls coming in second at 23%. Body stressing (often due to manual handling) routinely represents the largest proportion of serious claims. Interestingly males and females seem to be equally affected by body stressing with exactly 36% each. Mechanisms such as being hit by moving objects seem to affect males more, with females being more affected by mental stress. As with gender differences, this is likely due to the proportions of males and females working in different industries. For example, males are likely to work in industrial type workplaces, with lots of moving vehicles, and there may be more females working in service industries where human contact and the potential for mental stress is much higher.


We’ll continue our analysis of Australian workplace injury trends in our next post.