Work-related compensated injury fatalities in Australia are at their lowest level since 2002, according to new industry data.
Data released by Safe Work Australia’s latest Comparative Performance Monitoring report shows a 41 percent reduction in workplace fatalities in a 10-year period to 2012.
The 16th edition of the report provides trend analysis on the work health and safety and workers’ compensation schemes operating in Australia and New Zealand.
Michelle Baxter, Acting Chief Executive Officer, Safe Work Australia recognised the progress Australia has made but noted there was still room for improvement.
“Over a decade ago Australia set a national target of reducing the incidence rate of compensated injury and musculoskeletal disorder fatalities by 20 per cent by 2012. This report shows that as a nation we not only achieved, but surpassed this target, with a 41 per cent reduction in fatalities,” said Ms Baxter.
“While this is a good result, there were still 178 compensated injury and disease fatalities recorded in Australia for 2012–13. More work is needed to improve work health and safety and reduce this figure even further.”
In 2012-13, 11 out of every 1000 workers were injured seriously enough to require one week or more off work, the report found. While there has been a 26 per cent improvement since 2002, the target of a 40 per cent reduction in the rate of injuries by 2012 was not achieved.
“To continue to see a decrease in injury and disease in the workplace we must stay committed to work health and safety and set high targets to ensure safer workplaces for all Australians, said Ms Baxter.
“It is through raising awareness of work health and safety and encouraging workers to speak up about hazards that these figures will continue to drop. Safe Work Australia Month is the perfect opportunity to do this.”
To view the report or to learn more about work health and safety at your workplace visit: www.swa.gov.au