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6324.0 - Work-Related Injuries, Australia, JUL 2013 TO JUN 2014 Quality Declaration 
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 19/11/2014   
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SUMMARY OF FINDINGS

OVERVIEW

Of the 12.5 million persons who had worked at some time in the last 12 months, 4.3% first experienced their most recent work-related injury or illness during that same period1. The majority (85%) of the 531,800 persons who experienced a work-related injury or illness continued to work in the job where their injury or illness occurred. Approximately 7% had changed jobs and the remaining 8% were not employed in the reference week (Table 1).

More than half the persons who experienced a work-related injury or illness were males (61%). In 2013-14, 4.9% of males who worked in the last 12 months experienced a work-related injury or illness, down from 5.5% in 2009-10. The proportion of females who experienced a work-related injury or illness in the last 12 months was 3.6%, down from 5.1% in 2009-10 (Table 1 and Table 4).

In 2013-14, approximately 43 persons experienced a work-related injury or illness in the last 12 months per 1,000 persons who had worked at some time in the last 12 months, a decrease from the 2009-10 estimate (53 people per 1000 persons) (Table 1).

The highest work-related injury or illness rate by age group was in the 50-54 year age group with 52 per 1000 persons who had worked at some time in the last 12 months, followed by the 15-19 year age group with 50 per 1000 persons. Persons aged 65 years and over recorded the lowest rate of work-related injury or illness with 25 per 1000 persons.

The younger age group (15-19 years) experienced an increase in the rate of work-related injuries or illnesses compared with 2009-10 (50 per 1000 persons in 2013-14 compared to 47 per 1000 persons in 2009-10). All other age groups experienced a decreased rate of work-related injury or illness, with the largest decrease in the 45-49 year age group (41 per 1000 persons in 2013-14 compared to 72 per 1000 persons in 2009-10, a decrease of 31 per 1000 persons).

    Work-related injury/illness rate–By age group (years), 2005–06, 2009–10 and 2013–14

    Tasmania had the highest work-related injury/illness rate with 66 per 1,000 persons who had worked at some time in the last 12 months. New South Wales recorded the lowest rate, with 37 per 1,000 persons who had worked in the last 12 months (Table 2).

    DETAILS OF THE JOB WHERE THE WORK-RELATED INJURY OR ILLNESS OCCURRED

    Of the 531,800 persons who experienced a work-related injury or illness in 2013-14:

    • 90% (477,900) were employees, excluding owner managers of incorporated enterprises (OMIEs), in the job where they experienced the injury or illness; and
    • 10% (53,900) were owner managers.

    Nearly one-third of persons who experienced a work-related injury or illness in the last 12 months were working under shift arrangements (30% or 157,600 persons) (Table 3).

    OCCUPATION AND INDUSTRY OF JOB WHERE WORK-RELATED INJURY OR ILLNESS OCCURRED

    The occupation groups with the highest rates of people who experienced a work-related injury or illness were 'Machinery operators and drivers' (88 per 1,000 employed persons), 'Community and personal service workers' (73 per 1,000 employed persons), 'Technicians and trades workers' (72 per 1,000 employed persons) and 'Labourers' (66 per 1000 employed persons) (Table 4).

    Work-related injury or illness rate(a)—By occupation groups
    The industries with the highest work-related injury or illness rates were 'Manufacturing' (82 per 1,000 employed persons), 'Transport, postal and warehousing' (76 per 1,000 employed persons) and 'Agriculture, forestry and fishing' (72 per 1,000).

    The industries with the lowest rates of work-related injuries and illnesses were 'Financial and insurance services' (18 per 1,000 employed persons), 'Professional, scientific and technical services' (19 per 1,000 employed persons), 'Rental, hiring and real estate services' (21 per 1,000 employed persons) and 'Information, media and telecommunications' (23 per 1,000 employed persons) (Table 4).

    Work-related injury or illness rate(a)—By industry

    Of the 323,700 males who experienced a work-related injury or illness in the last 12 months:
    • 31% were 'Technicians and trades workers', 18% were 'Machinery operators and drivers' and 15% were 'Managers' when the injury or illness occurred; and
    • 20% were employed in the 'Manufacturing' industry, 16% in 'Construction' and 10% in 'Transport, postal and warehousing' when the injury or illness occurred.

    Among the 208,100 females who experienced work-related injuries or illnesses:
    • 27% were 'Community and personal service workers', 21% were 'Professionals' and 14% were 'Labourers'; and
    • 29% were employed in the 'Health care and social assistance' industry, 13% in 'Accommodation and food services', 10% in 'Education and training' and 10% in 'Retail trade' when the injury or illness occurred (Table 4).

    MOST RECENT WORK-RELATED INJURY OR ILLNESS SUSTAINED

    The most common types of injuries or illnesses sustained were 'Sprain/strain' (33%), followed by 'Chronic joint or muscle conditions'(21%), and 'Cut/open wound' (14%) (Table 5).

    Most recent work-related injury or illness sustained—By sex
    Of the 531,800 persons who experienced a work-related injury or illness, 34% (181,200) sustained their injury or illness through 'Lifting, pushing, pulling or bending', 20% (106,200) by 'Hitting, being hit or cut by an object or vehicle', 13% (68,200) through 'Fall on the same level' and 9% (46,000) through 'Repetitive movement with low muscle loading' (Table 5).
    How the most recent work-related injury or illness occurred—By sex


    SOURCES OF FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

    Of the 531,800 persons who experienced a work-related injury in the last 12 months, 326,200, or 61%, received some sort of financial assistance. Of those who received financial assistance, 56% received workers' compensation, 39% did not apply for workers' compensation and 4% applied for and did not receive workers' compensation.

    In 2013-14, the number of persons who received workers' compensation as a proportion of the total number of people who experienced a work-related injury or illness in the last 12 months (183,200) (34%), has remained relatively steady with 2009-10 figures (36%) (230,100).

    Of the 326,100 persons who did not apply for workers' compensation, approximately 44% reported that the main reason for not applying for workers' compensation was that they had a 'Minor injury only/not considered necessary', 10% 'Did not think eligible' and a further 10% said they were 'Not covered or not aware of workers' compensation' (Table 10).

    MAIN REASON DID NOT APPLY FOR WORKERS' COMPENSATION—By sex

    There were 477,900 employees (excluding OMIEs) who experienced a work-related injury or illness in the last 12 months. Of the 388,900 employed persons who had paid leave entitlements, 72% received financial assistance. Of the 89,000 employed persons without paid leave entitlements, 41% received financial assistance (Table 12).

    ABSENCES

    Of the 531,800 persons who experienced a work-related injury or illness:

    • 61% had some time off work (62% of males and 60% of females). Approximately 7% took off part of a day or shift and 23% took one to four days off (20% of males and 27% of females) and 29% had five days or more off work and 2% had not returned to work since the injury or illness occurred (Table 5);
    • 205,100 persons did not have any time off work. Of these, the injuries and illnesses most often experienced were 'Sprain/strain' (32%) and 'Chronic joint or muscle condition' (21%) (Table 6); and
    • 5% were no longer working in the job in which the work-related injury or illness occurred. Of these, 31% left because of their workplace injury or illness (Table 13).
    Days or shifts absent from work due to most recent work-related injury or illness—By sex


    REPORTED WORK-RELATED INJURY OR ILLNESS TO SOMEONE IN THE WORK PLACE

    In 2013-14, 91% (485,100) of persons who experienced a work-related injury or illness reported it to someone in their work place (91% of males and 92% of females). Of the 485,100 persons who reported their most recent work-related injury or illness to someone in the work place:

    • 72% (350,500) reported their injury or illness to their 'Supervisor/Line manager' (68% of males and 79% of females);
    • 20% (98,900) reported their injury or illness to their 'Colleague' (19% of males and 23% of females); and
    • 14% (69,500) reported their injury or illness to their 'Health and safety representative' (18% of males and 9% of females) (Table 5).
    A person may report their most recent work-related injury or illness to more than one person in their work place.

    NOTES ABOUT THE ESTIMATES

    The MPHS is designed primarily to provide estimates at the Australia level. Broad estimates are also available for states and territories, although users should exercise caution when using estimates at this level because of the presence of high sampling errors. For more information about the reliability of the estimates see paragraph 13 of the Explanatory Notes.

    ROUNDING

    As estimates have been rounded, discrepancies may occur between sums of the component items and totals.

    END NOTE

    1. See glossary entry 'Work-related injury or illness' for more information.


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