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Latest Australian workers’ compensation statistics published

Safe Work Australia has published the Australian workers’ compensation statistics 2020-21 report, which provides the latest national statistics on accepted serious workers’ compensation claims.

2020-21 key findings:

  • There were 130,195 serious workers’ compensation claims.
  • 13% of serious claims were for illness and diseases. Of these, mental health conditions were the most common. 
  • The 3 occupations with the highest frequency rates of serious claims were:
    • labourers
    • community and personal service workers
    • machinery operators and drivers.
  • The 3 industries with the highest rate of serious claims were:
    • agriculture, forestry and fishing
    • health care and social assistance, and 
    • manufacturing.
  • 87% of serious claims were for injuries. The 3 most common injury types were:
    • traumatic joint/ligament and muscle/tendon injuries (40% of all serious claims)
    • musculoskeletal and connective tissue diseases (16%)
    • wounds, lacerations, amputations and internal organ damage (15%).

Key findings from the trend analysis to 2019–20:

  • The number of serious claims fell 7% from 133,041 claims in 2000–01 to 122,801 claims in 2019–20. 
  • The median time lost for a serious claim was 7 working weeks. The median compensation paid was $15,100.
  • While a relatively low proportion of claims relate to occupational violence, such injuries are on the rise. Serious claims for Being assaulted by a person or persons have more than doubled since 2000–01 (up by 177%). 

This report complements and provides additional detail to Key Work Health and Safety Statistics report published on 7 November 2022.

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