Traffic control injury claims down but days off work rise

Traffic control injuries

Workers in the traffic control sector made 234 workers’ compensation claims in 2013/14, a 16% per cent reduction compared with 2012/13.

WorkCover Queensland Customer Service Manager Michelle Brady said that while it is great news that injury claims have reduced, paid days off work as a result of a workplace injury in the sector have increased significantly.

“The average paid days off work for traffic control claims has increased almost 38 per cent from 43 to 58 days and this ultimately leads to higher claim costs for employers,” Michelle said.

“An appropriate strategy to reduce the overall paid days is for traffic control employers to actively seek and support suitable duties for injured workers,” she said.

A suitable duties plan is a graduated work program that helps injured workers improve their work fitness with the aim of returning to their pre-injury role.

“Your employee may not be able to return to duties in their pre-injury capacity following an injury however it is important that the employee returns to work in some capacity,” Michelle said.

“Getting back to work is an important step in recovering from a work-related injury and can help a worker to return to a normal life, often easing the financial and emotional impact on them and their family,” she said.

“As an employer, you have a responsibility to provide suitable duties—to take all reasonable steps to help with, or provide, rehabilitation to a worker suffering a work-related injury, while they're receiving compensation.

“WorkCover can help you to devise a plan with the treating doctor that focusses on what can be done. It’s important to focus on what the worker CAN do, rather than what they can’t do.”

Across the traffic control sector, musculoskeletal injuries and diseases remained the most common injury, accounting for 62 per cent of all injuries and worth more than $1.1 million in compensation payments.

Other key traffic sector injury statistics for 2013/14 include:

  • Knee and upper leg injuries were the most common (15.3% of claims), followed by back (14.5%), shoulder and upper arm (12.8%) and lower leg (12.8%).
  • Workers in the 40-50 and 50-60 year old age brackets made up over half the injury claims in the sector at 26 per cent each.

The 150,000 businesses who are part of WorkCover Queensland's scheme benefit from the lowest average premium rate in Australia ($1.20) and one of the nation's fastest return work rates with over 90 per cent of injured workers returning to work within 12 months.

You can apply for a policy at any time using our online services, or read more about renewing your policy and declaring wages.

For more information on suitable duties and injury management is available on the website, or call WorkCover on 1300 362 128.

Last updated
27 January 2017