The Key Work Health and Safety, Australia booklet is a pocket-sized summary of the main statistics on work-related injury, disease and death produced by Safe Work Australia. Information shown includes the main types of injuries for which compensation was paid, the cost of injury and incidence rates by industry.

In 2009–10, there were 131 170 workers’ compensation claims for serious1 work-related injuries or illnesses.

This equates to an incidence rate of 13.0 serious claims per 1000 employees.

  • Preliminary data for 2010–11 show there were 127 330 serious workers’ compensation claims, which equates to 12.2 serious claims per 1000 employees. While the final number of accepted claims for the 2010–11 year is likely to be around 2% higher, an improvement from 2009–10 is still expected.
  • Per hour worked, male employees experienced a rate of serious injury or disease 30% higher 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 weeks 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 2010–11, 220 workers died due to an injury incurred at work. This equates to 1.93 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.