Work-related injuries methodology

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Reference period
July 2017 - June 2018

Explanatory notes


The statistics presented in this publication were compiled from data collected in the Multipurpose Household Survey (MPHS) conducted throughout Australia in the 2017–18 financial year as a supplement to the monthly Labour Force Survey (LFS). The MPHS was designed to provide statistics annually for a small number of labour, social and economic topics. The topics collected in 2017–18 were:

  • Work-Related Injuries
  • Participation in Sport and Physical Recreation
  • Attendance at Selected Cultural Venues and Events
  • Patient Experience
  • Crime Victimisation.

For all topics, information on labour force characteristics, education, income and other demographics are also available.

The publication Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) contains information about survey design, scope, coverage and population benchmarks relevant to the monthly LFS, which also applies to the MPHS. It also contains definitions of demographic and labour force characteristics, and information about interviewing relevant to both the monthly LFS and MPHS.

Concepts sources and methods

The conceptual framework used in Australia's LFS aligns closely with the standards and guidelines set out in Resolutions of the International Conference of Labour Statisticians. Descriptions of the underlying concepts and structure of Australia's labour force statistics, and the sources and methods used in compiling these estimates, are presented in Labour Statistics: Concepts, Sources and Methods (cat. no. 6102.0.55.001).

Collection methodology

ABS interviewers conducted personal interviews by either telephone or at selected dwellings during the 2017–18 financial year. Each month a sample of dwellings were selected for the MPHS from the responding households in the LFS. In these dwellings, after the LFS had been fully completed for each person in the household, a usual resident aged 15 years and over was selected at random and asked the additional MPHS questions in a personal interview. Information for this survey was collected using Computer Assisted Interviewing (CAI), and responses are recorded directly onto an electronic questionnaire in a notebook computer.


The scope of the LFS is restricted to people aged 15 years and over and excludes the following:

  • members of the permanent defence forces;
  • certain diplomatic personnel of overseas governments, customarily excluded from census and estimated population estimates;
  • overseas residents in Australia; and
  • members of non-Australian defence forces (and their dependants).

In addition the 2017–18 MPHS excluded the following:

  • people living in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in very remote parts of Australia; and
  • people living in non-private dwellings such as hotels, university residences, students at boarding schools, patients in hospitals, inmates of prisons and residents of other institutions (e.g. retirement homes, homes for people with disabilities).


In the LFS, coverage rules are applied which aim to ensure that each person is associated with only one dwelling and hence has only one chance of selection in the survey. See Labour Force, Australia (cat. no. 6202.0) for more details.

Sample size

The initial sample for the MPHS 2017–18 consisted of approximately 26,000 private dwellings. Of the private dwellings that remained in the survey after sample loss (e.g. households with LFS non-response, no residents in scope for the LFS, vacant or derelict dwellings and dwellings under construction), approximately 71% were fully responding to the MPHS. The number of completed interviews obtained from these private dwelling households (after taking into account the scope, coverage and subsampling exclusions) was 28,200 for the Work Related Injuries topic.

Estimation methods

Weighting is the process of adjusting results from a sample survey to infer results for the total in scope population. To do this, a 'weight' is allocated to each sample unit. For the data in this publication the sample unit is a person. The weight is a value which indicates how many population units are represented by the sample unit. The first step in calculating weights for each unit is to assign an initial weight, which is the inverse of the probability of being selected in the survey. The initial weights are then calibrated to align with independent estimates of the population of interest, referred to as 'benchmarks'. Weights are calibrated against population benchmarks to ensure that the survey estimates conform to the independently estimated distribution of the population rather than the distribution within the sample itself.

The statistics presented in this publication have been benchmarked to the Estimated Resident Population for December 2017, independently produced according to the scope of the survey. This ensures that the survey estimates conform to person benchmarks by state, part of state, age and sex. The statistics have been further benchmarked to labour force survey estimates averaged over the 12 month MPHS reference period. This ensures that survey estimates are also consistent with the estimated in-scope population by state, part of state, sex, age and labour force status.

LFS estimates are revised every five years to take into account the outcome of the 5-yearly rebasing of the Estimated Resident Population following the latest Census. LFS supplementary survey and MPHS estimates are not revised in this way. Small differences will therefore exist between the civilian population aged 15 years and over reflected in the Labour Force Survey's revised estimates and corresponding estimates from other household surveys.

Reliability of the estimates

Estimates in this publication are subject to sampling and non-sampling errors:

  • Sampling error is the difference between the published estimate and the value that would have been produced if all dwellings had been included in the survey. For more information see the Technical Note.
  • Non-sampling errors are inaccuracies that occur because of imperfections in reporting by respondents and interviewers, and errors made in coding and processing data. These inaccuracies may occur in any enumeration, whether it be a full count or a sample. Every effort is made to reduce the non-sampling error to a minimum by careful design of questionnaires, intensive training and supervision of interviewers, and effective processing procedures.

Classifications used

Country of birth data are classified according to the Standard Australian Classification of Countries (SACC), 2016  (cat. no. 1269.0).

Occupation data are classified according to the ANZSCO – Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations, 2013, Version 1.2 (cat. no. 1220.0).

Industry data are classified according to the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), 2006 (Revision 2.0) (cat. no. 1292.0).

Educational attainment data are classified according to the Australian Standard Classification of Education (ASCED), 2001 (cat. no. 1272.0).

Work-related injuries data are classified according to Safe Work Australia's Type of Occurrence Classifications System (TOOCS). See Appendix for more information.

Comparability with monthly LFS statistics

Due to differences in the scope and sample size of the MPHS and that of the LFS, the estimation procedure may lead to some variations between labour force estimates from this survey and those from the LFS.

Data quality

Proxy interviews were conducted for persons aged 15-17 years, if an adult member of the household did not grant permission to allow the 15-17 year old respondent to personally respond to the interview. If permission was not granted, the adult member of the household would respond to the interview on behalf of the 15-17 year old. For some questions which called for personal opinions, such as self-assessed health, responses from proxy interviews were not collected.

Previous surveys

The Work-related injuries topic was last conducted in the 2013-14 financial year. Results were published in Work-Related Injuries, Australia (cat. no. 6324.0).

Changes in this issue

No changes were made to Work-related injuries topic in 2017 - 2018.

For a more detailed list of available data items and their categories – Work-related injuries 2017–18 Data Items List, is available in a spreadsheet, on the Topic page under the Data downloads section.

Next survey

The ABS is planning to collect the Work-related injuries topic again during the 2021–22 financial year.


ABS publications draw extensively on information provided freely by individuals, businesses, governments and other organisations. Their continued co-operation is very much appreciated: without it, the wide range of statistics published by the ABS would not be available. Information received by the ABS is treated in strict confidence as required by the Census and Statistics Act 1905.

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An electronic version of the tables released in this publication are available on the ABS website in spreadsheets attached to this publication. The spreadsheets present the tables and the relative standard errors (RSEs) for each publication table.

Related publications

ABS publications which may also be of interest include:

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Current publications and other products released by the ABS are available from the Statistics Page on the ABS website. The ABS also issues a daily Release Advice on the website which details products to be released in the week ahead.

Appendix - work-related injury or illness classifications

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Technical note - data quality

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Quality declaration

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