Key StatisticsKey work health and safety statistics

  • In 2010–11, there were 132 570 workers’ compensation claims for serious (1) work-related injuries or illnesses. This equates to an incidence rate of 13.1 serious claims per 1000 employees.
  • Preliminary data for 2011–12 show there were 128 050 serious workers’ compensation claims, which equates to 12.2 serious claims per 1000 employees. While the final number of accepted claims for the 2011–12 year is likely to be around 2% higher, an improvement from 2010–11 is still expected.
  • Per hour worked, male employees had a 25% higher rate of claims for serious injury or disease than female employees.
  • Incidence rates of serious workers’ compensation claims increase with employee age.
  • The highest occupation incidence rates were recorded by labourers & related workers, over double the rate for all occupations.
  • The highest industry incidence rates were recorded by the Transport & storage, Agriculture, forestry & fishing and Manufacturing industries.
  • A typical serious workers’ compensation claim involves four week’s absence from work.
  • One-quarter of serious claims required 12 or more weeks off work.
  • One in five serious claims involved an injury to the back.
  • The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ Work Related Injury Survey showed 58 out of every 1000 workers experienced an injury or illness in the workplace in 2009–10. However, half of these incidents involved less than one day or shift absent from work.
  • In 2011–12, 228 workers died due to an injury incurred at work. This equates to 1.99 deaths per 100 000 workers.
  • Work related injury and illness were estimated to cost $60.6 billion in the 2008–09 financial year. This represented 4.8% of GDP.

(1) Serious claims involve a death, a permanent incapacity or a temporary incapacity requiring an absence from work of one working week or more


Serious claims: incidence rates by industry, 2011–2012

Safety Incidents

The Agriculture, forestry & fishing; Manufacturing and Transport & storage industries have had the highest incidence rates of serious injury for many years. In 2011–12 their incidence rates were up to 80% higher than the all industries rate of 12.2 serious claims per 1000 employees. These industries together with Construction and Health & community services were priority industries under the National OHS Strategy 2002–2012.

Key StatisticsDownload Safe Work Australia: Key-WHS-Statistics-2014.pdf Credits: Safe Work Australia



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