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6324.0 - Work-Related Injuries, Australia, 2005-06  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 20/12/2006   
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SUMMARY OF FINDINGS


OVERVIEW

Of the 10.8 million people who had worked at some time in the last 12 months, 6.4% experienced a work-related injury or illness during that same period. The majority (86%) of the 689,500 people who experienced a work-related injury or illness continued to work in the job where their injury or illness occurred. Approximately 7.5 % had changed jobs and the remaining 6.8% were not employed in the reference week.


Almost two-thirds (63%) of people who experienced a work-related injury or illness were men. This can be partly attributed to the fact that a larger proportion of those who worked at some time in the last 12 months were men (54%). However, even after this factor is removed, men were still more likely than women to experience a work-related injury or illness. In 2005-06, 7.4% of men who worked in the last 12 months experienced a work-related injury or illness compared with 5.1% of women.



WORK-RELATED INJURY OR ILLNESS RATES

In 2005-06, 64 people experienced a work-related injury or illness in the last 12 months per 1,000 people who had worked at some time in the last 12 months.


Both men and women experienced higher work-related injury/illness rates in the younger age groups. The 15-19 year age group had the highest rate with 78 per 1,000 people (91 per 1,000 men and 65 per 1,000 women), followed by the 20-24 year age group with 75 per 1,000 people (98 per 1,000 men and 51 per 1,000 women). People aged 55 years and over recorded the lowest rate of work-related injuries/illnesses with 50 per 1,000 people (51 per 1,000 men and 48 per 1,000 women).

Work-related injury/illness rate, By age and sex
Graph: Work-related injury/illness rate, By age and sex



Queensland had the highest work-related injury/illness rate (71 per 1,000 people), followed by the Australian Capital Territory (69 per 1,000 people). Victoria recorded the lowest rate, with 54 per 1,000 people who had worked in the last 12 months.



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

Of the 689,500 people who experienced a work-related injury or illness in 2005-06:

  • 86% (593,900) were employees (excluding owner managers of incorporated enterprises) in the job where they experienced the injury or illness;
  • 14% (95,600) were owner managers, of whom 31% were working on a contract basis at the time of their injury or illness;
  • 27% (183,600) were working under shift arrangements; and
  • 43% (293,000) had not received any occupational health and safety training in the job where their injury or illness occurred.

In comparison, of all employed persons:
  • 81% were employees (excluding owner managers of incorporated enterprises);
  • 19% were owner managers, of whom 26% were working on a contract basis; and
  • 16% were working under shift arrangements.


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

Of the 437,600 men who experienced a work-related injury or illness in the last 12 months:
  • 28% were Tradespersons and related workers, 19% were Intermediate production and transport workers and 15% were Labourers and related workers when the injury or illness occurred; and
  • 18% were employed in the Manufacturing industry, 17% in Construction and 12% in Retail trade when the injury or illness occurred.

Among the 251,900 women who experienced work-related injuries or illnesses:
  • 26% were Intermediate clerical, sales and service workers, 20% were Professionals; and
  • 23% were employed in the Health and community services industry, 22% in Retail trade and 11% in Education when the injury or illness occurred.

Note that the distribution of work-related injuries or illnesses across the different occupations and industries will be influenced to some extent by the total number of men and women who work in those particular occupations and industries.

Work-related injury or illness rate(a), By occupation groups
Graph: Work-related injury or illness rate, By occupation groups



The occupation groups with the highest rates of people who experienced a work-related injury or illness were Intermediate production and transport workers (108 per 1,000 employed people), Tradespersons and related workers (107 per 1,000 employed people) and Labourers and related workers (106 per 1,000 employed people).

Work-related injury or illness rate(a), By industry
Graph: Work-related injury or illness rate, By industry



The industries with the highest work-related injury or illness rates were Agriculture, forestry and fishing (109 per 1,000 employed people), Manufacturing (87 per 1,000 employed people), and Construction and Mining (each 86 per 1,000 employed people). The industries with the lowest rates were Finance and insurance (19), Property and business services (36) and Communication services (37).



MOST RECENT WORK-RELATED INJURY OR ILLNESS SUSTAINED

Of the 689,500 people who experienced a work-related injury or illness, the most common types of most recent injuries or illnesses sustained were sprains or strains (30%), followed by cuts or open wounds, and chronic joint or muscle conditions (each 19%). Men had a higher incidence of cuts or open wounds than women (22% and 14% respectively), while proportionally more women experienced chronic joint or muscle conditions (23% of women compared with 16% of men). This may be at least partly due to differences in the occupations and industries that men and women tend to work in.

Most recent work-related injury or illness sustained, By sex
Graph: Most recent work-related injury or illness sustained, By sex



The work-related injury or illness most commonly reported across the majority of occupation groups was sprains/strains, with the exception of the Intermediate clerical, sales and service workers occupation group which reported chronic joint or muscle condition as the most common injury or illness sustained.


Sprains/strains were the most commonly reported work-related injury or illness sustained across the majority of industries, with the exception of the Mining and the Electricity, gas and water supply industries, where cuts/open wounds were the most common injury or illness sustained.


Most people who experienced a work-related injury or illness sustained their injury through lifting, pushing or pulling an object (32% or 218,400), hitting, being hit or cut by an object (27% or 183,100), falls on the same level (9% or 59,500) and repetitive movements (8% or 56,500).

How the most recent work-related injury or illness occurred, By sex
Graph: How the most recent work-related injury or illness occurred, By sex




SOURCES OF FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

Of the 689,500 people who experienced a work-related injury in the last 12 months, 392,700, or 57%, received some sort of financial assistance. Of those who received financial assistance, 55% received workers' compensation, 42% did not apply for workers' compensation and 3% applied for and did not receive workers' compensation. Of those who did not apply for workers' compensation, over half (51%) reported that the main reason for not applying for workers' compensation was that their injury or illness was minor/not considered necessary, 17% said they were not covered or not aware of workers' compensation or did not think they were eligible, and 7% said it would have a negative impact on current or future employment.

MAIN REASON DID NOT APPLY FOR WORKERS' COMPENSATION, By sex
Graph: Main reason did not apply for workers' compensation, By sex



Of employees with paid leave entitlements who experienced a work-related injury or illness in the last 12 months, 67% received financial assistance compared to 36% of employees without any paid leave entitlements.



ABSENCES

Of the 689,500 people who experienced a work-related injury or illness:

  • 58% had some time off work (60% of men and 55% of women). Approximately 21% took one to four days off (22% of men and 18% of women);
  • 28% had 5 days or more off work and 2.5% had not returned to work since the injury or illness occurred;
  • 42% did not have any time off. The injuries or illnesses most often experienced by this group were sprains and strains (29%) and cuts/open wounds (21%); and
  • 14% were no longer working in the job in which the work-related injury or illness occurred. Of these, 29% left because of their workplace injury or illness.
Days or shifts absent from work due to most recent work-related injury or illness, By sex
Graph: Days or shifts absent from work due to most recent work-related injury or illness, By sex


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