The report titled “Australian work-related injury experience by sex and age, 2009-10”, examines the work-related injury experience of male and female workers across different age groups and analyses the results of the Australian Bureau of Statistics Work-related Injuries Survey.
The report confirms that in 2009–10, 638 400 workers reported they had incurred a work-related injury in the previous 12 months.
Surprisingly the report also found that incidence rates of injury were similar for male and female workers, however on a per hour basis, females had a 27% higher frequency rate of injury than their male counterparts. For both male and female workers the highest frequency rates occurred among those working as Labourers and Community & personal service workers.
The industry with the highest rate for both male and female workers was Accommodation & food services.
Working under shift arrangements or as a casual or part-time worker was associated with higher rates of injury. Female workers recorded higher frequency rates in all categories of employment except for full-time non-shift workers where male and female rates were similar.
A sprain or strain of muscles was the most common injury for both male and female workers accounting for around 30% of the injuries.
The 15–24 years age group displayed a very different pattern of injuries to the other age groups due to a different pattern of employment. One-quarter of workers in this age group were employed as Sales workers while for the other age groups the dominant occupation was Professionals. This partially explains why workers in the 15–24 years age group recorded a high proportion of injuries due to Hitting or being hit or cut by an object while for the remaining age groups Muscular stress was the most common cause of injury.
The frequency rate of injury of 48.8 injuries per million hours worked recorded by the 15–24 years age group was nearly twice some of the other age groups, which ranged from 25.7 for the 65 years & over age group to 37.0 for the 45–54 years age group.
At the occupation level, the highest frequency rate of 91.6 injuries per million hours worked was recorded by workers in the 15–24 years age group working as Community & personal service workers. Workers in this age group also had the highest rates of injury while working as Labourers, Technicians & trades workers and Sales workers.
At the industry level, the highest frequency rate of 101.6 injuries per million hours worked was recorded by workers in the 15–24 years age group working in the Accommodation & food services industry.
In all age groups, except for those 55 years & over, casuals (employees without paid leave entitlements) recorded higher frequency rates of injury than their paid leave counterparts.
The most common type of injury in every age group was Sprain/strain. Workers in the 15–24 years age group experienced proportionally more Cut/ open wound and Burns than the other age groups, while workers in the 55 years & over age group experienced a higher proportion of Stress/ other mental condition and Fracture.
Full report is available from Safe Work Australia