It is interesting to take note that the Australian Bureau of Statistics has published a report on work related injuries sustained between July 2013 and June 2014.
According to the report, of the 12.5 million people over the age of 15 who worked during that time frame, 531,000 sustained a work-related injury. While this figure still seems high, it is relatively less than we recorded in previous years, indicating a decline in workplace injuries and an improvement in workplace health and safety.
Not surprising though is that the manufacturing, transport and agriculture industries topped the list with the highest number of work-related injuries, followed closely by the construction industry.
The report also indicated that men were at a greater risk of workplace injury than women with males having a higher rate of work related injuries during the time period. This can be attributed to the fact that high risk industries are mainly male-dominated particularly the manufacturing, agriculture, construction and transport industries.
Another useful bit of information that we can make use of when tackling workplace health and safety issues is that sprains and strains are a serious concern which are sometimes not taken seriously enough. Sprains and strains followed by joint or muscle trauma were the most commonly reported.
Sprains and strains are usually sustained by workers engaging in manual handling tasks such as lifting, pushing, pulling or bending. General labourers on construction sites are often exposed to these risks but others such as tilers, roofers, carpenters etc. can also be placed at risk.
The ABS report revealed that most workers who suffered work related injury or illness took less than 5 days off work. Forty per cent of them took no time off work at all. Sixty per cent of those injured received some sort of financial assistance, including workers’ compensation.
It is important that we take note of the most common injuries and incidents so that we can pay better attention to them this year and hopefully reduce their occurrence in the workplace. Workplace injuries not only affect the injured worker, but their families, co-workers, employers and the economy in general as well.
In a post onHealthandSafetyHandbook.com.au the writer explains what these stats mean to the ordinary worker,
These findings show just how common work-related injuries have been in recent years, and highlight the importance of following correct health and safety procedures to prevent these incidents from happening in your workplace.
In particular, ensuring that your workers follow correct manual handling techniques can prevent a large number of common work-related injuries, potentially saving your business money in workers’ compensation claims.
When an employee sustains a serious injury the cost of medical bills and other expenses can be large, as well as the cost of fines that may be incurred if the company is found to be negligent of safety regulations.
If the employer is found to be negligent in providing adequate safety equipment and procedures for the worker, the employer may have to pay thousands of dollars in damages, this can cripple a business.
In order to decrease liability, employers must demonstrate that they have gone to adequate lengths to protect their workers and provide a safe work system and environment. They must also ensure that workers have undergone the necessary safety training, including the White Card.