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Safe Work Australia recently released a new report on workers compensation rates across the country with some interesting findings.

The report has found that the rate of serious claims has fallen by 33 per cent between 2000-01 and 2013-14. This significant decrease could be the result of many positive factors and ultimately it could demonstrate an overall increased understanding of health and safety as a priority in the workplace.  It could also be the by-product of an increase in proactive workplace interventions by jurisdictional WHS regulators.  

The Comparative Performance Monitoring (CPM) report shows that in 2014-15, there were 190,000 workplace interventions carried out by work health and safety regulators, with 100,000 of these being proactive.  This is a significant rise when compared to the 86,000 interventions carried out in 2012-2013.  

The breakdown of workplace interventions by type:

Intervention stats.png

Upon the release of this report, Chair of Safe Work Australia, Diane Smith-Gander, emphasised that businesses must remain vigilant to their health and safety obligations.

“While the latest CPM report also highlights continued improvements with lower worker fatalities and workers’ compensation claims, this is not consistent across all industries. More needs to be done to ensure all Australians can lead healthy, safe and productive working lives. Regulators, legislators, business and worker representatives need to have an open partnership to get the best results.” (Source: Safe Work Australia)

While the decrease in compensation claims and increase in proactive interventions are both positive outcomes, there were some sobering statistics to come out of both reports.  There was a 33 per cent increase in the median time lost from work, climbing from 4.2 working weeks to 5.6.

Not so surprisingly, labourers maintained the highest rate of workers’ compensation claims, demonstrating that there is still serious health and safety improvements to be made for this profession. The agricultural, forestry and fishing industry had the highest rate of serious claims at 25.4 claims per 1000 employees, while construction had 19.5 and manufacturing had 17.5.


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