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New report confirms agriculture safety rate needs to improve

The agriculture industry workers' compensation claim rate for 60 or more workdays has increased over the past five years, sitting above the claim rate for all Queensland industries.

That's the finding of a new typology report showing the average claim rate for agriculture is 4.2 claims per 1000 workers, compared with the average claim rate of three claims per 1000 workers for all industries. It shows workers in agriculture are 50 per cent more likely to experience a significant injury as workers in all other industries.

The typology snapshot classifies the circumstances that resulted in an injury or disease by highlighting the mechanism of incident involved. Typology is an analysis tool that identifies common injury mechanisms and areas of concern, and assesses the effectiveness of targeted initiatives over time.

The report was developed using accepted workers' compensation claims data where 60 or more workdays are compensated and:

  • psychological and commuting claims are excluded
  • the claim intimation date is between 1 January 2012 and 31 December 2016.

Claims of 60 or more work days compensated are analysed because, while they make up a small percentage of all claims, they account for a much larger proportion of total claim costs. In agriculture, although claims with 60 or more work days compensated make up only 14 per cent of all claims, they account for 68 per cent of total claim costs.

Other statistics revealed in the report show agriculture workers between the ages of 25 to 34 years represent a quarter of all industry claims for 60 or more workdays. And, while the claim rates for agriculture were significantly higher than for all of Queensland across all age groups, this was particularly evident in the younger age groups.

Over 90 per cent of claims were the result of either falls, body stressing, being hit by moving objects or vehicle incidents. Fall related injuries represent 29 per cent of all claims and almost two thirds of fall related injuries were falls from height.

Body stressing injuries accounted for about a quarter of all relevant claims, mainly the result of either carrying or lifting objects. Injuries resulting from being hit by moving objects represent 21 per cent of all claims.

Further information

Vehicle incidents represent 19 per cent of agriculture claims with 60 or more workdays compensated; however, they account for more than half of all fatality claims for agriculture workers over the same period. Read the report at worksafe.qld.gov.au (PDF, 0.63 MB).