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Small business industry heat maps

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland (WHSQ) has traditionally used planning methods centred on claim numbers and claim rates (numbers of claims expressed as a ratio of workers covered). WHSQ introduced a harm index in 2011 in an effort to incorporate the severity of claims into the planning process.

The harm index is a ratio of total statutory costs (an indicator of severity) to the exposure (i.e. workers covered) within a given cohort to give an assessment of risk, which represents the relative harm workers are likely to sustain during their working lives.

The heat map is an enhancement of this harm index. Similar to the concept of the harm index, the heat map provides a visual representation of relative risk. In 2018 the heat maps also compare the small business index of each industry sector at the three digit ANZSIC level by Census year.

Small business claims are defined as those claims where the employer declared wages are at or below $1.5 million[1].

The heat map was generated using on-duty at place of work finalised claims only. Only two heat maps were produced for small business, using the following conditions:

A heat map for on-duty road traffic incidents was not produced due to very small numbers of claims. A brief analysis of 2016 results for these claims is however included in the discussion.

This report groups all industry sectors into three categories:

  • green (low harm) - index values are at or below the all industry average
  • orange (medium harm) - industries above and up to twice the average
  • red (high harm) - industries with index values at more than twice the average value.

All results have been calculated using a consistent methodology in 2018 for comparative purposes. Therefore, index values and colours may not be exactly the same as in previous reports published. The reference point is the 2016 Census results.

Results

The heat map for small businesses' on-duty at place of work claims revealed the industries that demonstrated the largest index values (the maximum was 'medium harm') and a large number of claims included:

  • Manufacturing
  • Wholesale Trade
  • Transport, Postal and Warehousing
  • Construction
  • Accommodation and Food Services.

The results discussion includes other industries that were also revealed to be poor performers:

  • Public Administration and Safety
  • Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services.

Manufacturing industry

Similar to other injury risk measures, the Manufacturing industry recorded the highest average index value of 190 (or 1.9 times the all industry average), while also holding the second largest number of claims of all the industries after Construction (18 per cent of all claims). Accordingly, the heat map revealed that the Manufacturing industry has many high harm sub sectors, with approximately half of Manufacturing sub sectors shaded red (50 per cent).

The industry sub sectors that recorded exceptionally high index values (with at least 30 claims) included:

Industry sub sector Index value Number of claims
Sheet Metal Product Manufacturing (except Metal Structural and Container Products 1615 126
Structural Metal Product Manufacturing 567 244
Other Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing 561 317
Specialised Machinery and Equipment Manufacturing 520 99
Other Food Product Manufacturing 494 39
Polymer Product Manufacturing 438 92
Cement, Lime, Plaster and Concrete Product Manufacturing 424 43
Log Sawmilling and Timber Dressing 384 39
Other Manufacturing 352 125
Other Non-Metallic Mineral Product Manufacturing 335 40
Meat and Meat Product Manufacturing 326 37
Other Machinery and Equipment Manufacturing 325 48
Other Wood Product Manufacturing 270 206
Metal Container Manufacturing 266 36
Motor Vehicle and Motor Vehicle Part Manufacturing 215 159

Most of these high harm sub sectors were also high harm in 2011, with the exception of Metal Container Manufacturing (2011 index of 80), and Other Manufacturing (2011 index of 115).

Wholesale Trade industry

The Wholesale Trade industry recorded one of the highest average index values of 185 (or 1.85 times the all industry average), while also holding a sizeable number of claims (836). Accordingly, the heat map revealed that the Wholesale Trade industry has many high harm sub sectors, with nearly half of all sub sectors shaded red (46 per cent).

The industry sub sectors that recorded exceptionally high index values (and at least 30 claims) include:

Industry sub sector Index value Number of claims
Specialised Industrial Machinery and Equipment Wholesaling 475 76
Other Machinery and Equipment Wholesaling 311 135
Furniture, Floor Covering and Other Goods Wholesaling 239 130
Mineral, Metal and Chemical Wholesaling 224 77
Timber and Hardware Goods Wholesaling 201 116

The heat map revealed a general worsening of results in the Wholesale Trade industry over time relative to most other industries. This could be due to a slower improvement on average, costlier claims and/or a higher rate of claims.

Transport, Postal and Warehousing industry

The heat map revealed that on average, the Transport, Postal and Warehousing industry demonstrated index levels that were 1.75 times the average, slightly more than in 2011 (1.59 times). The result was largely attributed to Road Freight Transport (248), Warehousing and Storage Services (531), Scenic and Sightseeing Transport (283), and Pipeline and Other Transport (1456).

It should be noted that the last two sub sectors had less than 30 claims (26 and 18 respectively). Only Scenic and Sightseeing Transport had a lower (green) category of risk in 2011, with an index value of 91 and 24 claims.

Construction industry

Similar to other injury risk measures, the Construction industry recorded one of the highest average index values of 140 (or 1.4 times the all industry average), while also holding the largest number of claims (24 per cent of all claims).

Half of the Construction industry comprised 'high risk' industry sub sectors. The industry sub sectors that were of exceptionally high risk included:

  • Non-residential Building Construction (454)
  • Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction (306)
  • Building Structure Services (279)
  • Land Development and Site Preparation Services (213).

The heat map revealed a general worsening of results in the Construction industry over time relative to most other industries. This could be due to a slower improvement on average, costlier claims and/or a higher rate of claims.

Accommodation and Food Services Industry

The harm index for the Accommodation and Food Services Industry was 129 or 1.29 times the all industry average risk. The relative risk has increased since the 2011 Census period (1.21).

Clubs (Hospitality) recorded an exceptionally high index level of 1245 in this industry. This was lower than the previous period although still high at 1568. Similarly, Pubs, Taverns and Bars were also high harm (571) and this was consistent over time (709 in 2011). One in five claims for the industry were for these two sub-sectors.

Public Administration and Safety

This industry was deemed medium risk with a harm index of 191 or 1.91 times the all industry average in 2016. This is an improvement relative to all other industries since 2011 when the industry had a high risk harm index of 218.

There was one high risk sub sector in this industry, Public Order and Safety Services (258), which is not surprising. This sub sector was also high risk in the 2011 Census period (335).

Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services Industry

The harm index for the Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services Industry was 138 or 1.38 times the all industry average. This is an improvement on the 2011 Census period (171).

Waste Treatment, Disposal and Remediation Services recorded a high harm index of 337 and was responsible for over half of the industry's small business claims (53 per cent). This sub sector was also deemed high harm in 2011 with an index of 576.

Other high risk industry sub sectors

The industry sub sectors in the table below recorded high index values and had at least 30 claims.

Industry sub sector Index Value Number of claims
Amusement and Other Recreation Activities 730 37
Civic, Professional and Other Interest Group Services 637 69
Horse and Dog Racing Activities 582 61
Preschool Education 490 37
Residential Care Services 474 64
Employment Services 377 247
Other Social Assistance Services 346 75
Motor Vehicle Parts and Tyre Retailing 345 117
Mushroom and Vegetable Growing 252 48
Agriculture and Fishing Support Services 216 87
Other Livestock Farming 213 38
Fuel Retailing 209 36

Serious on-duty at place of work claims (5 or more days off work)

The heat map produced for small businesses' serious claims revealed that high risk industry sub sectors were very similar to all finalised claims for small business.

Likewise, the Wholesale Trade industry was of the highest risk, largely due to the Other Machinery and Equipment Wholesaling (610), Furniture, Floor Covering and Other Goods Wholesaling (516), Timber and Hardware Goods Wholesaling (319), Mineral, Metal and Chemical Wholesaling (314), Grocery, Liquor and Tobacco Product Wholesaling (305), and Motor Vehicle and Motor Vehicle Parts Wholesaling (248) sub sectors. There were 390 serious claims for small business on average per year for this industry, constituting just 6 per cent of the total.

By comparison, Construction had 1561 claims or 25 per cent on average. The risk index for Construction is medium harm at 141, slightly higher than in 2011 (126). This represents 1.41 times the all industry average risk. High risk sub sectors for Construction include:

  • Building Structure Services (325)
  • Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction (318)
  • Land Development and Site Preparation Services (259)
  • Non-residential Building Construction (219).

Again, these results are very similar to the all finalised claims results for small business.

Other high-risk industries (with indices over 400 and at least 30 claims) included:

  • Sheet Metal Product Manufacturing (except Metal Structural and Container Products) (5345)
  • Specialised Machinery and Equipment Manufacturing (1397)
  • Clubs (hospitality) (1319)
  • Structural Metal Product Manufacturing (1289)
  • Other Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing (941)
  • Polymer Product Manufacturing (872)
  • Horse and Dog Racing Activities (629)
  • Other Wood Product Manufacturing (544)
  • Motor vehicle Parts and Tyre Retailing (520)
  • Pubs, Taverns and Bars (444)
  • Other Manufacturing (404).

It is interesting to note that for small business, serious claims represent 49 per cent of all finalised on-duty at place of work claims for all industries. This percentage is ten percentage points higher than for all businesses' claims. This may be due to reluctance by small business to claim workers' compensation.

On-duty road traffic incidents

This version of the heat map was not created due to the small numbers of claims for small businesses. Note: For the 2016 Census period were the below industry sub sectors:

Industry sub sector Index value Number of claims
Road Freight Transport 1,950 40
Other Machinery and Equipment Wholesaling 1065 7
Grocery, Liquor and Tobacco Product Wholesaling 930 5
Land Development and Site Preparation Services 579 5

Sources: Queensland Employee Injury Database (QEIDB) (data current as at January 2018) and ABS, Censuses 2011 and 2016.

These results exclude all those sub sectors with less than five claims. The industry sub sectors of the highest risk are generally in Transport, Postal and Warehousing and Wholesale Trade industries as expected.