Frequently asked questions - Statistics

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Below are answers to some of the questions that we get asked most frequently in regard to our statistics. If you can't find the answer you are looking for here you might need to contact the Policy Information Analyst at WorkSafe.

What is an LTI/D?

‘LTI/D’ stands for a lost time injury or disease that results in a fatality, permanent disability or time lost from work. 

In WA, a lost time injury or disease is defined as one day/shift lost or more. Unless specified otherwise, lost time injury and disease data provided by WorkSafe are based on workers’ compensation claims for work-related injuries and diseases that involve one or more days off work as a result of the work-related incident.

Note: National lost time injury and disease data (as well as other jurisdictions in Australia) are generally based on workers’ compensation claims where time lost is five days/shifts or more. Other statistical and legislative differences exist between jurisdictions; therefore it is advisable to always read the definitions before making comparisons.

Where does the data come from?

WorkSafe uses data derived from workers’ compensation claims lodged in accordance with the Workers’ Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981 supplied by WorkCover WA. 

Are all workers included in the data?

No, only those workers who are covered under the Workers’ Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981 (the Act). A worker’s compensation claim may be lodged by any person who is a ‘worker’, as defined by section 5 of the Act. This includes working directors who are deemed ‘workers’ under the Act and have some ownership of the company, as well as employed family members and private household workers (for whom workers’ compensation cover is optional). 

Self employed people, Commonwealth Government workers (including defence service personnel), workers covered by Comcare, police officers (except for work-related fatalities), unpaid volunteers and students on work experience are excluded from workers’ compensation data.

What if the business is involved in more that one type of industry?

Workers’ compensation claims are recorded against the principal activity of the employer. For example a manufacturing company that has a transport section will have all claims recorded against the “manufacturing” industry, even for workers involved in transport of goods.The industry benchmark to compare with would therefore be the 'manufacturing' industry.

When will last financial year’s statistics be available?

The statistics are updated annually.There is a delay of approximately one year between the end of the financial year and the statistics for that year being available.  The delay allows time for the claims to be finalised, resulting in more reliable data.  

How do I calculate incidence and frequency rates?

The incidence rate is the number of lost time injuries and diseases for each one hundred workers employed. The formula used is: 

Incidence rate = number of LTI/Ds / number of workers x 100

The number of workers is defined as the average number of workers covered by workers’ compensation who worked during the relevant period.

The frequency rate is the number of lost time injuries and diseases for each one million hours worked. The formula used for calculating frequency rates is: 

Frequency rate = number of LTI/Ds / number of hours worked x 1,000,000

The number of hours worked is defined as the total number of hours worked by workers covered by workers’ compensation during the relevant period. The hours worked are usually represented in millions. 

The fatality incidence rate is the number of work related fatalities per million workers per year. The formula used for calculating frequency rates is:

Fatality incidence rate = number of fatalities / number of workers x 1,000,000

Further information on WA data definitions and calculations.

Should I carry time lost into the next time period?

Some workplaces record LTI/Ds in the year they occurred, others in the year the workers’ compensation claim was lodged or the LTI/D was notified to the employer.  The time lost for an LTI/D stays with the year that the LTI/D was recorded. Long duration LTI/Ds may result in the ‘time lost’ figure for previous years being updated.

Should contract workers be included in the company’s LTI/D numbers?

No, contract workers should be included under their own employer’s LTI/D numbers.

What is the difference between WorkSafe and WorkCover WA?

The WorkSafe division of the Department of Commerce, is the Western Australian Government agency responsible for the administration of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984.  The principal objective of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984 is to promote and secure the safety and health of people at work.

WorkCover WA is the statutory authority responsible for administering the Workers' Compensation and Injury Management Act 1981 on behalf of the state. The role of WorkCover is to minimise the social and economic impact of work-related injury and disease and achieve cost effectiveness for employers and the community.

For further information, please visit the WorkCover WA website. 

What does the term musculoskeletal disorder mean?

Musculoskeletal disorders include a wide range of inflammatory and degenerative conditions affecting the muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, peripheral nerves, and supporting blood vessels. Examples of disorders arising out of work include carpal tunnel syndrome, vibration white finger, sciatica as well as sprains and strains.

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