Construction data upgrade reveals industry injury trends
Workplace Health and Safety Queensland recently published industry statistical updates, which reveal the construction industry was the state’s most hazardous (based on the number of fatal claims) but that injury claim rates were falling.
From 2015–16 to 2019–20, there was an average of 10 fatalities each year recorded for the construction sector.
However, from 2015–16 to 2019–20, the serious injury claim rate fell by 2.4 per cent per annum for the sector, compared with 1.2 per cent per annum recorded for all Queensland. Between 2015–16 and 2019–20, the non-fatal claim rate fell by around seven per cent a year for the sector and 2.6 per cent a year for all Queensland.
The most common mechanisms of injury over the five-year period were body stressing (27 per cent); being hit by moving objects (23 per cent); and falls, trips and slips (20 per cent). The most common agencies of injury over the five years were:
- material and substances (30 per cent)
- non-powered hand tools, appliances and equipment (25 per cent)
- environmental agencies (15 per cent)
- mobile plant and transport (9 per cent)
- machinery and fixed plant (8 per cent).
The update also includes interactions between the industry and WHSQ operations, showing that in 2019–20, activities such as workplace visits, intervention activities, workshops, presentations and seminars by inspectors to businesses in the industry accounted for about a third of all inspector activities in Queensland.
The share of statutory notices issued to businesses in construction was 45 per cent, significantly higher than the industry’s share of employees in Queensland (10 per cent). More than 75 per cent of notices issued to businesses in the industry were improvement notices.
The new data also highlights employment trends in the industry, with employment growing 18 per cent from 2015–16 to 2019–20, compared with six per cent growth for all of Queensland. Workers in the industry were more likely to be engaged on a full-time basis (86.0 per cent) than workers in Queensland as a whole (68.9 per cent) in 2019–20.