Safe Work Australia has released its latest statistical report in relation to serious workers compensation claims. Serious claims are defined as a claim that results in a total absence from work of one working week or
more. Serious claims are often viewed as a good indicator of general trends in health and safety, as they are less subject to manipulation than other indicators such as Lost Time Injuries (LTI’s). They are expressed as either:

  1. Number of claims
  2. Frequency Rates –¬†number of serious claims per million hours worked, or
  3. Incidence rates – number of serious claims per 1000 employees.

The picture below is captured from the report and provides a few highlights. Of course if you need more detail check out the full report which can be found here.

Other interesting trends (from 2001 – 2015) not contained in key findings include:

  1. While the time lost and payments for serious claims are on the rise, the actual numbers, frequency rates and incidence rates have actually been falling since 2001 (by 36-38%).
  2. Males tend to have more serious injuries than females, however the gap is narrowing, with females rates falling slower than males.
  3. Community and personal service workers had by far the biggest rise in injury numbers over this period with a rise of 25%, however this may reflect the increase number of persons working in this industry.
  4. All occupations had falls in claim rates, however community and personal service workers had the smallest fall in both frequency and incidence rates (resulting in a higher proportion of injuries)

The report as always presents some challenges as well as some positive findings.