On 15 July 2008, the Australian government released the 2005-2006 Compendium of Workers’ Compensation Statistics Australia. I am pleasantly surprised that although the number of fatalities is never at an acceptable level the trend data is very positive in terms of safety management.
Some key findings and trends reported in the Compendium include:
- Preliminary data for 2005-06 shows there were 231 compensated fatalities, 93 per cent of which were men.
- Preliminary data for 2005-06 reports the transport and storage industry accounted for the largest number of fatalities (41), followed by construction (33) and manufacturing (28).
- Trend data results showed all industries experienced a fall in incidence rates of injury and disease between 1997-98 and 2004-05, with the greatest falls being in the priority industries of mining (45 per cent decrease), construction (27 per cent decrease), transport and storage (20 per cent decrease), agriculture, forestry and fishing (19 per cent decrease) and manufacturing (18 per cent decrease).
- Reflecting Australia’s ageing labour force, the proportion of claims for employees aged 45 years or more increased from 33 per cent in 1997-98 to 39 per cent in 2004-05.
Such decreases in these major industries should be applauded. Certainly the background to the statistics should be analysed for a proper consideration but the mining results are terrific given that the sector is booming in Australia with new mines opening frequently and is suffering a shortage of skilled labour. Colleagues of mine in that sector have been crowing about the improvements for some time and they seem to be supported by this compendium.
The data can be downloaded HERE