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Marginal increase in serious injury claim rate over last four years

A new Workplace Health and Safety Queensland publication reveals the serious injury claim rate in Queensland grew marginally at 1.2% a year from 2015–16 to 2019–20. Queensland recorded 59 work-related fatality claims a year on average.

The Queensland Statistical Update 2015–16 to 2019–20 (PDF, 1.06 MB) reveals the agriculture, forestry and fishing industry recorded the highest number of notified work-related fatalities of all Queensland industries. On average, there were 11 notified fatalities for agriculture, forestry and fishing each year and 33 for Queensland overall.

Five new industry statistical updates have also been published for major industries, including agriculture, forestry and fishing. The rural industry update shows in 2018–19 most workers in the sector were employed as labourers and the non-fatal claim rate in 2019–20 was 29 claims per 1,000 employees, above the state average of 27.4.

From 2015–16 to 2019–20, the non-fatal claim rate decreased 16% in agriculture, forestry and fishing, compared with an 11% decline for Queensland. In 2019–20, the industry serious injuries claim rate was 14.8, and 12.3 for Queensland.  From 2015–16 to 2019–20, the serious injury claim rate decreased 2.1% on average annually for the industry, compared to a 1.2% rate for all of Queensland.

Key findings for the past 5 years

Most common mechanisms of injury:

  • 27% - being hit by moving objects
  • 22% - falls, trips and slips
  • 21% - body stressing.

Most common ways of being injured:

  • 25% - using non-powered hand tools, appliances and equipment
  • 23% - environmental agencies
  • 16% - animal, human and biological agencies
  • 15% - mobile plant and transport
  • 9% - materials and substances.

The industry updates also include details on Workplace Health and Safety Queensland interactions with the major industries. In 2019–20, workplace visits, interventions, workshops, presentations and seminars by inspectors to businesses in agriculture accounted for 3.5% of all inspectorate activities in Queensland, in line with the industry’s share of notified events (3.2%).

The share of statutory notices issued to businesses in the industry was also 3%. Over 91% of notices issued to businesses were improvement notices.

About 41% of events notified for the industry were categorised as bodily harm or dangerous events. Proactive activities make up around 13% of all activities for inspectors. This is in line with the industry’s share of employees in Queensland (3%).

Further information

View all the updates at WHS reports and statistics.