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Injury claims show lows and highs in construction

The construction industry has recorded the second highest number of serious workers’ compensation claims, according to a report published by Safe Work Australia.

The Australian workers’ compensation statistics (AWCS) report provides detailed statistics about workers’ compensation claims that were lodged in Australia between 2000-01 and 2019-20, including preliminary data for 2019-20 and trend analysis to 2018-19.

The statistics show Australia’s work health and safety performance and include data broken down by gender, age, occupation, industry, nature of injury or disease, mechanism of injury or disease, and bodily location of the injury or disease.

Following the health care and social assistance industry (18% of all claims), the construction industry recorded 13% of all serious claims in 2019–20, ahead of manufacturing (12%).

Together, the three industries accounted for 43% of all serious claims, while making up only around 30% of the workforce.

The report also shows that labourers had the highest serious claims frequency rate of 18.1 per million hours worked in 2019–20. The national average was 6.1 serious claims per million hours worked.

Labourers also had the highest frequency rate for the injury and musculoskeletal disorders subset of serious claims (16.6 serious claims per million hours worked). This was more than three times the rate for all occupations (5.3).

Other statistics contained in the report show that from 2000–01 to 2018–19, the number of serious claims fell in 12 of Australia’s 19 industry divisions. The largest falls were in information, media and telecommunications (down 61%), manufacturing (down 51%), and financial and insurance services (down 46%).

The construction industry recorded a 17% rise, behind mining (up 38%), health care and social assistance (up 31%) and education and training (up 25%). However, when looking at frequency rates (serious claims per million hours worked), the construction industry recorded a fall of 43%. The incidence rate (serious claims per 1000 employees) also saw a fall of 45% for the construction industry.

Further information

All the figures and more are available at Safe Work Australia