Workers' compensation data
Key workers' compensation statistics are available on the statistics page. A more detailed analysis of workers’ compensation statistics can be found in the Australian Workers’ Compensation Statistics reports. Jurisdiction-specific statistics are available in the Comparative Performance Monitoring reports.
Limitations of workers’ compensation data
Workers’ compensation statistics do not capture all occurrences of work-related injuries and diseases for the reasons below:
- Only employees are eligible for workers’ compensation, which means self-employed workers are not included in workers’ compensation statistics. Around 10% of Australian workers are self-employed.
- Absences from work of less than one working week are excluded from the Australian Workers’ Compensation Statistics reports due to the different employer excesses that exist across Australia and the possibility that claims for injuries and diseases below these excess periods are not reported to workers’ compensation authorities.
- While the majority of employees are covered for workers’ compensation, under general Commonwealth, state and territory workers’ compensation legislation, some specific groups of workers are covered under separate legislation. Every effort has been made to compile data from all groups of employees, but it is currently known that claims lodged by police in Western Australia and military personnel within the defence forces are excluded.
- Diseases are significantly under-represented in workers’ compensation statistics. That is because many diseases result from long-term exposure to agents or have long latency periods, making the link between the work-related disease and the workplace difficult to establish.
An estimate of the proportion of work-related injuries that are claimed through workers’ compensation can be found at Comparison of compensation data with all incurred work-related injuries.
The reasons why some employees do not apply for compensation can be found at Factors affecting applications for workers’ compensation and in the report Work Related injuries in Australia: Who did and didn't receive workers compensation 2009-10.