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Safe Work Australia compiles the National Dataset for Compensation-based Statistics which comprises information on workers' compensation claims provided by each of the jurisdictional workers' compensation authorities.

In this section ‘serious claims’ relate to where the compensated injury or disease resulted in one week or more off work. The data for 2016-17 is preliminary (denoted by a ‘p’) and therefore is subject to revision in subsequent years as further claims are finalised. Further explanatory notes on the data can be found in the Explanatory notes for Safe Work Australia datasets.

106,260 serious workers’ compensation claims were made in 2016-17, with 64% of claims made by men.

Serious claims overall statistics, 2016-17p*

This infographic shows that there were 106,260 serious claims, the frequency rate was 5.6 serious claims per million hours worked, the median time lost was 5.6 weeks and the median compensation paid was 1,500 per claim.
*preliminary data subject to revision in subsequent years as further claims are finalised.

Trends in the rates of serious claims, 2016-17 the Australian serious claim frequesncy rate dropped by 28%
*preliminary data subject to revision in subsequent years as further claims are finalised.

Serious claims by gender, 2016-17p*

This infographic shows that males had a higher serious claims frequency rate (claims per million hours worked) and more median compensation paid when compared to females. However females had a slightly higher median time lost from work when compared to males.

Serious claims by gender, 2016-17p*

Gender Number of serious claims Frequency rate
(serious claims per
million hours worked)
Incidence rate
(serious claims per
1,000 employees)
Female 38,155 4.9 6.9
Male 68,105 6.2 11.5
Total 106,260 5.6 9.3

*preliminary data subject to revision in subsequent years as further claims are finalised.

Serious claims by age group, 2016-17p*

This infographic compares two age groups with the highest and lowest serious claims frequency rates (claims per million hours worked).
*preliminary data subject to revision in subsequent years as further claims are finalised.

Serious claims by age group, 2016-17p*

Age group (years) Number of serious claims Frequency rate
(serious claims per
million hours worked)
Incidence rate
(serious claims per
1,000 employees)
Less than 20 years 3,635 6.4 5.5
20-24 years 10,085 5.7 8.2
25-29 years 10,860 4.5 7.8
30-34 years 10,390 4.3 7.5
35-39 years 10,070 4.6 8.1
40-44 years 11,540 5.3 9.3
45-49 years 13,545 6.2 11.1
50-54 years 13,735 6.9 12.2
55-59 years 11,960 7.2 12.4
60-64 years 7,595 7.7 12.2
65 years and over 2,845 6.0 8.1
Total 106,260 5.6 9.3

*preliminary data subject to revision in subsequent years as further claims are finalised.

Serious claims by mechanism of incident, 2016-17p*

This infographic shows that body stressing accounted for the highest proportion of serious claims, followed by falls, trips and slips (38% and 24% respectively).
*preliminary data subject to revision in subsequent years as further claims are finalised.

Serious claims by mechanism of incident, 2016-17p*

Mechanism of incident Number of serious claims Per cent
Body stressing 40,330 38
Falls, trips and slips of a person 25,070 24
Being hit by moving objects 16,565 16
Hitting objects with a part of the body 8,070 8
Mental stress 6,675 6
Other mechanisms of incident** 4,645 4
Vehicle collisions 2,650 2
Heat, electricity and other environmental factors 1,455 1
Chemicals and other substances 800 1
Total 106,260 100

* preliminary data subject to revision in subsequent years as further claims are finalised.
** other mechanisms of incident include biological factors, sound and pressure, other multiple mechanisms of incident, roll over, slide or cave-in and unspecified mechanisms of incident.

The main causes of serious workers’ compensation claims were body stressing 38%,  fall, trips and slips 24% and being hit by a moving object 16%.

Serious claims by nature of injury/disease per cent, 2016-17p*

This infographic shows that traumatic joint/ligament and muscle/tendon injury accounted for 41% of serious claims.
*preliminary data subject to revision in subsequent years as further claims are finalised.

Serious claims by nature of injury/disease, 2016-17p*

Nature of injury/disease (1-digit) Total Per cent
Traumatic joint/ligament and muscle/tendon injury 43,930 41%
Wounds, lacerations, amputations and internal organ damage 16,690 16%
Musculoskeletal and connective tissue diseases 16,595 16%
Fractures 11,485 11%
Mental disorders 7,165 7%
Other injuries/diseases 4,535 4%
Digestive system diseases 2,215 2%
Burn 1,620 2%
Nervous system and sense organ diseases 1,095 1%
Intracranial injuries 930 1%
Total 106,260 100%

*preliminary data subject to revision in subsequent years as further claims are finalised.

Bodily location of injury, 2016-17p*

This infographic shows that 25% of injury or disease occurred on arms/upper limbs, while 24% occurred on lower limbs.
*preliminary data subject to revision in subsequent years as further claims are finalised.

Bodily location of injury, 2016-17p*

Body location of injury/disease (1-digit) Total Per cent
Arms/upper limbs 26,375 25%
Lower limbs 25,020 24%
Back 20,215 19%
Neck and shoulder 13,275 12%
Non-physical locations 7,165 7%
Other locations 5,195 5%
Chest/abdomen 4,830 5%
Head 3,455 3%
Total** 106,260 100%

*preliminary data subject to revision in subsequent years as further claims are finalised.
**claim numbers are rounded to the nearest five. Claims where the bodily location was unknown are not included separately, but are included in the total.

Serious claims by occupation, 2016-17p*

This infographic shows that the three occupations with the highest frequesncy rate of serious claims were labourers (16.5 serious claims per million hours worked), community and personal service workers (11.1 serious claims per million hours worked), and machinery operators and drivers (10.8 serious claims per million hours worked).
*preliminary data subject to revision in subsequent years as further claims are finalised.

Serious claims by occupation, 2016-17p*

Occupation Number of claims Frequency rate
(serious claims per
million hours worked)
Incidence rate
(serious claims per
1,000 employees)
Labourers 26,330 16.5 23.7
Community and personal service workers 18,130 11.1 14.2
Machinery operators and drivers 15,035 10.8 21.1
Technicians and trades workers 19,965 7.2 13.7
Sales workers 5,695 4.0 5.2
Professionals 10,795 2.3 3.9
Clerical and administrative workers 4,615 1.8 2.8
Managers 4,745 1.7 3.5
Total** 106,260 5.6 9.3

*preliminary data subject to revision in subsequent years as further claims are finalised.
**claim numbers are rounded to the nearest five. Claims where the occupation was unknown are not included separately, but are included in the total.

Serious claims by industry, 2016-17p*

This infographic shows that the three industries with the highest frequency rate of serious claims were agriculture, forestry and fishing (9.5 serious claims per million hours worked), construction (8.1 serious claims per million hours worked), and manufacturing (8.0 serious claims per million hours worked).
*preliminary data subject to revision in subsequent years as further claims are finalised.

Serious claims by industry, 2016-17p*

Industry Number of claims Frequency rate
(serious claims per
million hours worked)
Incidence rate
(serious claims per
1,000 employees)
Agriculture, forestry and fishing 3,620 9.5 18.7
Construction 13,280 8.1 16.0
Arts and recreation services 2,190 8.0 10.2
Manufacturing 12,860 8.0 15.1
Transport, postal and warehousing 8,330 8.0 15.0
Health care and social assistance 17,190 7.8 11.1
Wholesale trade 4,500 6.6 12.4
Administrative and support services 4,730 6.3 10.0
Public administration and safety 7,710 5.9 9.6
Accommodation and food services 6,175 5.6 7.1
Retail trade 8,490 5.0 7.0
Electricity, gas, water and waste services 1,210 4.7 9.2
Other services 3,065 4.6 7.6
Education and training 6,850 6.8 4.4
Mining 2,030 9.3 4.2
Rental, hiring and real estate services 970 4.7 2.6
Information media and telecommunications 590 2.8 1.6
Professional, scientific and technical services 1,795 1.9 1.1
Financial and insurance services 585 1.4 0.7
Total** 106,260 5.6 9.3

*preliminary data subject to revision in subsequent years as further claims are finalised.
**claim numbers are rounded to the nearest five. Claims where the industry was unknown are not included separately, but are included in the total.

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Last modified on Wednesday 31 October 2018 [9841|82476]