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Regional heat maps paint a clear picture of WHS

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland has updated its regional heat maps to allow comparisons of injury statistics across industries and regions, revealing how the statistics have changed over time.

The heat maps compare hundreds of industry sub sectors across the state, based on the 2011 and 2016 census years, for different regions.

WHSQ uses workers' compensation claim statistics to help plan educational and compliance activities. To incorporate the severity of claims into the planning process, a harm index was introduced in 2011.The harm index is a ratio of total statutory costs (an indicator of severity) to the exposure (workers covered) within a given category.This gives an assessment of risk, which represents the relative harm workers are likely to sustain during their working lives.

The regional heat maps are an enhancement of the harm index. Similar to the concept of the harm index, heat maps provide a visual representation of relative risk, and with the latest update now comparing the index of each industry.

The updated heat maps for the Brisbane, Sunshine Coast and Wide Bay region reveal the industries with high index values and large numbers of claims include:

  • Construction
  • Manufacturing
  • Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
  • Transport, Postal and Warehousing
  • Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services

Other industries revealed to have higher than average claims include Administrative and Support Services; Wholesale Trade, and Arts and Recreation Services.

The heat maps show the South West, Logan and Gold Coast regions and the North Queensland and Central Queensland regions shared much the same industry groupings at the top, with the Construction, Manufacturing and Transport, Postal and Warehousing industries making up the top three.

The data allows comparisons between 2011 and 2016 census figures, based on three-year claim averages centred around each census year. The heat maps have been generated using on-duty at place of work finalised claims only. The heat maps were produced using the following conditions:

  • all on-duty claims, excluding on-duty road traffic incidents
  • serious on-duty at place of work claims (five or more days off work, excluding on-duty road traffic incidents)

Further information

The updated heat maps are at