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1301.0 - Year Book Australia, 2003  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 24/01/2003   
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Work-related injuries

People in the work force may experience injury or illness as the result of an incident in the workplace. Information about the incidence of work-related injury or illness was collected in the Work-related Injuries Survey, conducted in September 2000 as a supplement to the monthly Labour Force Survey. The survey provides a range of information on work-related injury or illness, including details about the incidence (rate) of work-related injury or illness, number of days/shifts absent from work due to the injury or illness and whether the person experiencing the injury or illness received workers' compensation or some other form of financial assistance.

For the purposes of the survey, work-related injuries or illnesses are broadly defined as those injuries or illnesses sustained as a result of work activities, or on a journey to or from work, or by aggravation of pre-existing conditions where employment was a contributory factor.

During the year ending September 2000, 477,800 Australian workers experienced a work-related injury or illness. This represents 5% of persons who worked at some time during this year. As seen in table 6.38, the work-related injury rate for males (59.8 per 1,000) was almost double that of females (36.1 per 1,000).


6.38 WORK-RELATED INJURIES OR ILLNESSES - Year ending September 2000
Experienced a work-related
injury or illness in the last 12 months
Worked at some
time during the year
Work-related injury
/illness rate(a)
'000
'000
per 1,000 persons

Males
323.9
5,418.5
59.8
Females
154.0
4,268.7
36.1
Persons
477.8
9,687.3
49.3

(a) The work-related injury or illness rate is the number of persons who experienced a work-related injury or illness during the previous 12 months per 1,000 persons who had worked at some time during that period.

Source: Work-Related Injuries, Australia, September 2000 (6324.0).


Of the 477,800 persons who experienced a work-related injury or illness during the year ending September 2000, almost half (45.6%) applied for or received workers' compensation (table 6.39). Males were more likely to apply for or receive workers' compensation than females (47.5% compared to 41.6%). For those who did not apply for workers' compensation, about half reported that the main reason for not applying for workers' compensation was 'minor injury only/not considered necessary'. A further 7.7% reported that they were not covered, or they were not aware of the existence of a workers' compensation benefit.


6.39 WORKERS' COMPENSATION APPLICATIONS(a) - Year ending September 2000
Males
Females
Persons
%
%
%

Main reason did not apply for workers' compensation
Not covered or not aware of workers' compensation benefit
9.0
5.1
7.7
Did not think eligible
4.4
5.4
4.7
Minor injury only/not considered necessary
25.4
29.2
26.7
Negative impact on current or future employment
1.7
3.5
2.3
Inconvenient/required too much effort/paperwork
3.6
3.8
3.6
Employer agreement to pay cost
2.3
*2.6
2.4
Other/don't know
6.1
8.9
7.0
Total
52.5
58.4
54.4
Applied for or received workers' compensation
47.5
41.6
45.6
Total
100.0
100.0
100.0

(a) Refers to most recent work-related injury or illness.

Source: Work-Related Injuries, Australia, September 2000 (6324.0).


Table 6.40 indicates the number of days or shifts absent from work for persons who applied for and received workers' compensation. Of the 189,400 persons who applied for and received workers' compensation, more than one-third (36.1%) had more than 10 days off work, while 27.7% were absent from work for between one and four days. In contrast, 16.9% of persons who applied for and received workers' compensation reported that they were not absent from work as a result of the injury or illness.


6.40 WORKERS' COMPENSATION APPLICATIONS(a), Absences from work - Year ending September 2000
Days or shifts absent from work
Units
Males
Females
Persons

None
%
16.4
18.1
16.9
Part of a day/shift
%
4.4
*4.3
4.4
One to four days
%
27.3
28.6
27.7
Five to ten days
%
14.7
15.5
14.9
More than ten days
%
37.0
33.6
36.1
Total
%
100.0
100.0
100.0
Number
'000
135.9
53.5
189.4

(a) Refers to most recent work-related injury or illness.

Source: Work-Related Injuries, Australia, September 2000 (6324.0).


Table 6.41 shows that the incidence of work-related injury or illness varied according to industry of employment. Mining recorded the highest incidence of work-related injury or illness, with 8.8% of employed persons experiencing a work-related injury or illness, followed by Transport and storage (7.8%) and Construction (6.9%). Agriculture, forestry and fishing and Manufacturing also recorded high incidences of work-related injury or illness. In contrast, Finance and insurance (2.2%) and Property and business services (2.4%) both recorded a low incidence of work-related injury or illness.


6.41 WORK-RELATED INJURY OR ILLNESS - Year ending September 2000
Persons who experienced
a work-related injury
Employed
persons(a)
Proportion who experienced
a work-related injury(b)
Industry
'000
'000
%

Agriculture, forestry and fishing
29.0
444.0
6.5
Mining
7.0
79.2
8.8
Manufacturing
91.8
1,444.4
6.4
Electricity, gas and water
*3.8
65.0
5.8
Construction
49.1
713.4
6.9
Wholesale trade
18.4
454.3
4.1
Retail trade
54.1
1,306.2
4.1
Accommodation, cafes & restaurants
26.6
459.0
5.8
Transport and storage
32.7
418.6
7.8
Communication services
9.7
175.0
5.5
Finance and insurance
7.4
329.6
2.2
Property and business services
25.3
1,070.3
2.4
Government administration & defence
14.4
349.1
4.1
Education
25.2
634.4
4.0
Health and community services
52.9
852.0
6.2
Cultural and recreational services
12.1
221.0
5.5
Personal and other services
18.4
332.8
5.5
Total
477.8
9,348.3
5.3

(a) From the Labour Force Survey conducted in August 2000.
(b) Data on work-related injuries and employed persons not strictly comparable due to differences in timing.

Source: Labour Force, Australia (6203.0); Work-Related Injuries, Australia, September 2000 (6324.0).


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