Less Australians are experiencing work-related injuries and illnesses, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
4.3 per cent of the 12.5 million individuals who worked in the past year experienced a work-related injury or illness, a 2.1 per cent drop from 2005-06.
Of the 531,800 persons who experienced a work-related injury or illness, 85 per cent continued working in the same job. 7 per cent changed jobs and 8 per cent were not employed during the reference week.
4.9 per cent of males were found to have experienced a work-related injury or illness, a 0.6 per cent drop from 2009-10 figures. Females also saw a decline in work-related injuries or illnesses, down to 3.6 per cent from 5.1 per cent in 2009-10.
“Similar to previous years, men had a higher rate of work-related injuries than women,” said Stephen Collett from the ABS.
“In 2013-14, this was driven by the large number of injuries sustained by men working in the manufacturing and construction industries.
“For women, the largest number of injuries occurred in the health care and social assistance industry, and in the accommodation and food services industry.”
The 50-54 year age group experienced the highest work-related injury or illness rates (50 per 1000 persons), while those aged 65 years and over recorded the lowest (25 per 1000).
The manufacturing industry was found to have the highest work-related injury or illness rates (82 per 1000), followed by ‘Transport, postal and warehousing’ (76 per 1000) and ‘Agriculture, forestry and fishing’ (72 per 1000).
The ‘Financial and insurance services’ sector was found to have the lowest rates (18 per 1000), along with ‘Professional, scientific and technical services’ (19 per 1000), ‘Rental, hiring and real estate services’ (21 per 1000) and ‘Information, media and telecommunications’ (23 per 1000).
“The most commonly reported problems were sprains and strains, which accounted for one in three injuries, followed by joint or muscle conditions at one in five,” said Mr Collett.
“Injuries most commonly occur when lifting, pushing, pulling, or bending; or by hitting or being hit by an object.”
61 per cent of those who experienced a work-related injury or illness received some sort of financial assistance, with 56 per cent receiving worker’s compensation.