WorkSafe operational priority statistics summary

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WorkSafe Operations Directorates routinely identify priority areas across industries, which are targeted for enforcement and compliance activities in order to reduce the occurrence of work-related injuries and promote safe work practices. The high-risk nature of the work in these areas means that they are likely to have a higher incidence of work-related injury and disease. 

Priority areas address particular occupational health and safety (OSH) issues. Selection takes into account workers compensation claim figures and work-related traumatic injury fatality data collected by the department. Claim figures may also support the assessment of the effectiveness of efforts made in a particular area. 

It is important to understand that there are limitations associated with use of claim data; however the inability to justify or verify priority area selection using claim-based statistics should not exclude the choice of an area.  Although there are exclusions from claim-based data, such as cases for self-employed people, overall it provides the best indicators of OSH status available.

Claim data for lost time injuries and diseases (LTI/Ds) assist in determining an overall approach. This approach may incorporate one or more of the following goals from a statistical point of view:

  • reduction in numbers of LTI/Ds and fatalities;
  • reduction in incidence rates;
  • reduction in frequency rates;
  • reduction in duration and severity (frequency of long duration LTI/Ds);and
  • reduction in worker's compensation premiums.

The priority areas are currently:

  • electricity;
  • fall from heights;
  • slips and trips;
  • body stressing (or manual tasks);
  • mobile plant and vehicle movement;
  • machine guarding; and
  • hazardous substances.

The following sections provide a brief overview of statistics and general information for each priority. LTI/Ds refer to lost time injuries and diseases where one or more days/shifts have been lost from work as a result of a workplace incident, unless otherwise stated.
“p” refers to preliminary data.

Electricity

  • According to work-related traumatic injury fatality data, electrocution has claimed the lives of three workers in the five years from 2012–13 to 2016–17 — an Electrical or Telecommunications Trades Assistant in 2012–13, an Electrical Linesworker in 2013–14, and an Electrician (General) in 2015–16. The industry of workplace for all three deaths was the Construction division.
  • A total of 183 LTI/Ds were recorded against the mechanism of incident classification Contact with electricity during the five year period from 2012–13 to 2016–17p, with 40 LTI/Ds recorded in both 2012–13 and 2013–14, 45 in 2014–15, and 29 in both 2015–16 and 2016–17p.
  • Of the 40 LTI/Ds recorded during 2012–13, 3,575 estimated days/shifts were lost from work at an estimated cost of $1,338,573. Preliminary data for 2016–17 indicate a marked decrease in estimated days/shifts lost to 1,864 and a higher total estimated cost of $1,340,531 despite recording a lower number of LTI/Ds (29). This equates to an average duration of about 64 days/shifts lost at an estimated cost of $46,225 per LTI/D in 2016–17p. In the five year period to 2016–17p, 2013–14 recorded the highest number of estimated days/shifts lost at 3,610 and the highest total estimated cost at $3,517,678.
  • Of the 29 LTI/Ds recorded during 2016–17p, 83 per cent related to the nature of injury classification Electrocution, shock from electric current, the remainder was for Electrical burn. Thirty-eight per cent of LTI/Ds were classed as serious incidences (LTI/Ds where five days/shifts or more are lost from work) and 17 per cent were classed as severe incidences (LTI/Ds where 60 days/shifts or more are lost from work).
  • On average (2012–13 to 2016–17p), more than six severe cases (60 days/shifts lost or more) per year are associated with the mechanism of incident classification Contact with electricity.
  • The breakdown agencies of Distribution lines: low tension and Control apparatus were collectively responsible for 42 per cent of Electrocution, shock from electric current injuries (or 77 LTI/Ds) and all 23 Electrical burn LTI/Ds were associated with the mechanism of incident Contact with electricity over the five year period from 2012–13 to 2016–17p.
  • It is presumed that many electric shocks are not reported, some of which could be potentially fatal.
  • Predictably, the occupation subgroup Electrotechnology and Telecommunications Trades Workers incurred the most electricity related injuries between 2012–13 and 2016–17p (34 LTI/Ds). Other occupation subgroups to record at least 10 LTI/Ds over the five year period due to contact with electricity include Automotive and Engineering Trades Workers (18 LTI/Ds) and Other Labourers (11 LTI/Ds).
  • Construction Services, Preschool and School Education, Food and Beverage Services, and Hospitals are the industry subdivisions to record the highest number of such LTI/Ds during the five year period from 2012–13 to 2016–17p (in order of magnitude).

Fall from heights

  • Thirteen work-related traumatic injury fatalities were recorded during the five years from 2012–13 to 2016–17 in relation to falls from a height (one in 2012–13, two in 2013–14, one in 2014–15, four in 2015­­–16, and five in 2016–17). One of the deaths in 2013-14 was a retiree, the worker who died in 2012–13 was aged between 20-24 years old and one of the fatalities in 2016–17 was less than 19 years old.
  • During the period from 2012–13 to 2016–17, the Manufacturing, Construction and Arts and Recreation Services divisions recorded three fatalities apiece. The Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services division recorded two deaths, and the remaining two deaths were recorded in the Transport, Postal and Warehousing division and the Accommodation and Food Services division.
  • Preliminary data show there were 1,033 LTI/Ds recorded during 2016–17p for the mechanism of incident classification Falls from a height — a decrease of 18 per cent compared to 2012–13. LTI/Ds have consistently decreased since 2012–13 when 1,259 LTI/Ds were recorded.
  • The proportion of serious incidents (LTI/Ds where five days/shifts or more are lost from work) increased from 83 per cent in 2012–13 to 85 per cent in
  • 2016–17p.
  • In respect to the proportion of severe cases (60 days/shifts lost or more) to total LTI/Ds, incidents have increased from 33 per cent in 2012-13, to 37 per cent (2015–16), to 41 per cent in 2016–17p. In terms of actual numbers, severe LTI/Ds increased by two cases during 2016–17p compared to 2012–13 (from 420 to 422).
  • During 2012–13 an estimated total of 111,770 days/shifts were lost from work due to falls from heights at an estimated cost of $71,641,837. Comparative to 2012–13, the number of days/shifts lost (114,598) has increased during 2015–16, whereas the total estimated cost has reduced ($69,597,944) — this equates to 106 days/shifts lost per LTI/D at an estimated cost of $64,622 during 2015-16.
  • Preliminary data for 2016–17 indicate a reduction in the number of days/shifts lost and total estimated cost compared to 2015–16 (to 113,144 and $63,767,981 respectively). However, the average duration of 110 days/shifts lost per LTI/D during 2016–17p is the highest in the five year period with an estimated total cost of $61,731 per LTI/D.
  • The breakdown agencies involved in most fall from height injuries during the five year period were, in order of magnitude, Ladders with 1,031 LTI/Ds (down seven per cent from 201 LTI/Ds in 2012–13 to 187 2016–17p), Steps and stairways with 964 LTI/Ds (up two per cent from 201 to 205), and Trucks, semi-trailers, lorries with 940 LTI/Ds (down 25.9 per cent from 220 to 163).
  • In relation to ladders, the occupations experiencing the most falls from ladders during the five year period were Electricians (General), Sales Assistants (General), Carpenters, Plumbers (General), and Fitter (General).
  • The Construction Services industry subdivision recorded the highest number of Fall from height LTI/Ds during 2016–17p at 165 LTI/Ds accounting for 16 per cent of total LTI/Ds in this year – a fall of 11.8 per cent in LTI/Ds compared to
  • 2012–13. The Road Transport industry subdivision recorded the second highest with 67 LTI/Ds in 2016–17p, a fall of 21.2 per cent compared to 2012–13; followed by Preschool and School Education at 61 LTI/Ds (a reduction of one LTI/D from 62); and Agriculture at 44 LTI/Ds (an increase of 18.9 per cent form 37 LTI/Ds).
  • In order of magnitude the most common types of injury resulting from Falls from a height during 2016–17p are Soft tissue injuries due to trauma or unknown mechanism (accounts for 25.9 per cent of falls from height LTI/Ds), LTI/Ds decreased by 42.5 per cent compared to 2012–13; and Other fractures, not elsewhere classified accounting for 23.2 per cent (LTI/Ds decreased by 14.6 per cent compared to 2012–13).
  • Knees, ankles, lower back, and shoulder continue to be the areas of the body most affected by Falls from a height LTI/Ds.

Slips and trips (falls on the same level)

  • During the five year period from 2012–13 to 2016–17p, one work-related traumatic injury fatality was recorded in 2014–15 in the subdivision of Road Transport.
  • 2,758 LTI/Ds were recorded against the mechanism of incident classification Falls on the same level during 2016–17p; a decrease of 6.8 per cent compared to 2012–13. An average of 2,849 LTI/Ds was recorded each year during 2012–13 and 2016–17p.
  • A total estimated number of 258,446 days/shifts were lost during 2015–16 at an estimated cost of $153,868,622 which equates to 90 days/shifts lost per LTI/D at an estimated cost of $53,688. Compared to 2012–13, these figures have risen by 12 days/shifts lost and by an extra $12,248 per LTI/D. Preliminary data for 2016–17 indicate an increase compared to 2015–16 in the estimated total number of days/shifts lost and average duration (269,309 and 98 days respectively) and a reduction in total estimated cost and estimated cost per LTI/D ($138,412,559 and $50,186 respectively).
  • Serious incidents (LTI/Ds where five days/shifts or more are lost from work) have decreased by 1.8 per cent during 2016–17p compared to 2012–13. Proportionally, serious cases have grown around four percentage points, from 79 to 83 per cent during the same period.
  • The proportion of severe cases (60 days/shifts lost or more) has increased over the five year period from 28 per cent in 2012–13 to 39 per cent in 2016–17p.
  • During 2016–17p, the nature of injury classification resulting in the most injuries from Falls on the same level was Soft tissue injuries due to trauma or unknown mechanisms and accounted for 32 per cent all Falls on the same level LTI/Ds. Three hundred and thirty-six fewer LTI/Ds of such incidents were recorded in 2016–17p than in 2012–13 (from 1,215 to 879).
  • Breakdown agency of injury classifications involved in most soft tissue injuries from Falls on the same level in 2016–17p are Traffic and ground surfaces other (accounting for 24.6 per cent), Other internal traffic and ground surfaces (14.6 per cent), Internal traffic and ground areas with hazardous substances (12.3 per cent), and Wet, oily, or icy internal traffic and ground surfaces (10.7 per cent).
  • Industry subdivisions that recorded the most LTI/Ds for falls on the same level during 2016–17p were Preschool and School Education with 351 LTI/Ds (an increase of two per cent compared to 2012–13), Construction Services with 182 (a 20.2 per cent decrease), and Hospitals with 171 (an increase of 13.2 per cent in 2012–13).
  • Occupation classifications most commonly associated with Falls on the same level during 2016–17p were Teacher’s Aide (118 LTI/Ds), Truck Driver (General) (98), Aged or Disabled Carer (90), Sales Assistant (General) (85), and Prison Officer (76 LTI/Ds).
  • Knees, ankles, and lower back are the parts of the body most affected by these types of injury.
  • Over the five year period it was the 65-100 year old age group who suffered the greatest increase in Falls on the same level LTI/Ds at 41.8 per cent (from 98 in 2012–13 to 139 in 2016–17p). This was followed by the 55-59 age group (up 15.3 per cent from 354 LTI/Ds to 408) and the 60-64 age group (up 4.4 per cent from 270 to 282). All the other age groups recorded reductions over the same period.
  • The age group responsible for the greatest proportion of LTI/Ds for the mechanism Falls on the same level during 2016–17p was the 45-54 age group (accounting for 28 per cent or 770 LTI/Ds). Over the five year reporting period LTI/Ds for Falls on the same level decreased by 5.2 per cent during 2016-17p compared to 2012-13.

Body Stressing (or manual tasks)

  • Body stressing remains the most common action, exposure or event of injury and disease in Australia.
  • Body stressing accounts for more than a third (37.4 per cent) of all LTI/Ds in Western Australia during 2016-17p (5,837 LTI/Ds). LTI/Ds decreased by 19.6 per cent compared to 2012-13.
  • There have been no fatalities directly attributable to body stressing.
  • During 2016-17p, the frequency of Body stressing LTI/Ds in WA was 2.89 LTI/Ds per one million hours worked, a 15.3 per cent reduction from 3.42 in 2012–13 and a 2.3 per cent reduction from 2.96 in 2014–15.
  • Based on 2016–17 preliminary figures, 98 days/shifts were lost from work per Body stressing LTI/D at an estimated cost of $52,601 per LTI/D. On average, Body stressing LTI/Ds in Western Australia are estimated to cost $363,210,086 per year.
  • During 2016-17p, 86 per cent of Body stressing LTI/Ds (or 4,992) resulted in a serious LTI/D (five days/shifts or more lost from work); a rise from 79 per cent in 2012–13. Severe Body stressing LTI/Ds (60 days/shifts or more lost from work) accounted for 41 per cent during 2016-17p, an increase from 32 per cent in
  • 2012-13.
  • There are four classifications that make up the Body stressing group. Muscular stress while handling objects other than lifting, carrying or putting down and Muscular stress while lifting, carrying or putting down objects are the two highest recording mechanisms of incident in the group and on average account for 53% and 33% of the group respectively.
  • Muscular stress while handling objects other than lifting, carrying or putting down LTI/Ds decreased by 35.7 per cent during 2016-17p compared to 2012–13 (from 2,222 to 1,429 LTI/Ds); while Muscular stress while lifting, carrying or putting down objects LTI/Ds decreased by 27.5 per cent (from 1,342 in 2012–13 to 973 in 2016-17p).
  • Agency not apparent is the highest recording breakdown agency of Body stressing injuries. Other common identifiable causes are Crates, cartons, boxes, cases, drums, kegs, barrels, Other person and Ferrous and non-ferrous metal. LTI/Ds decreased by 34.4, 29.1, 13.1, and 24.2 per cent respectively during 2016-17p compared to 2012–13.
  • As you would probably expect the classifications of Lower back, Shoulder, Knee and Back unspecified are the areas of the body most affected by these types of injuries.
  • As in previous years, the 45-54 age group recorded the highest number of Body stressing LTI/Ds during 2016-17p at 1,692 – a decrease of 9.6 per cent compared to 2012–13. The lowest numbers recorded in this year were attributed to the oldest and youngest age groups: 65-100 and 15-19 age groups (144 and 84 LTI/Ds respectively). Body stressing LTI/Ds decreased across all age groups over the five year period except the 65-100 age group where LTI/Ds increased 9.9 per cent. Reductions recorded in All other age groups recorded reductions.
  • During 2016–17p, the Hospitals (471 LTI/Ds), Construction Services (447), and Preschool and School Education (306) subdivisions accounted for the largest proportion of body stressing injuries. All recorded reductions over the five year period (2012­–13 to 2016–17p) of 23, 23.1, and 14.3 per cent respectively.
  • Occupation classifications experiencing the most body stressing injuries during 2016–17p (in order of magnitude) were Truck Driver (General) a fall of 15.2 per cent (from 322 in 2012–13 to 273 in 2016–17p), Aged or Disabled Carer down 21 per cent (from 315 to 249 LTI/Ds), Storeperson down 35 per cent (from 343 to 223), Sales Assistant (General) a down of 20.7 per cent (from 261 to 207), and Commercial Cleaner, down 17 per cent from 182 to 151.

Mobile plant and vehicle movement

  • Examples of mobile plant include forklifts, ride-on mowers, cement mixers, harvesters, road rollers, tractors, and earthmoving and fairground equipment.
  • Twelve work-related traumatic injury fatalities were known to be associated with mobile plant during the period from 2012–13 to 2016–17 (2.4 deaths per year on average). The highest recording year in the five year period was 2012-13 with four fatalities. One work-related traumatic injury fatality involving mobile plant was notified to the department in 2016–17.
  • Four of these deaths were associated with Being hit by moving objects (one in 2012–13, one in 2014–15, one in 2015–16, and one in 2016–17). Two deaths involved Graders, dozers, snowploughs, other scraping plant, one involved Front-end loaders, log handling plant, other loading plant and the fourth involved the classification of Tractors, agricultural or otherwise.
  • Five of the 12 fatalities were recorded in the Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing division, three in Construction, and three in the Mining division. The remaining two deaths were recorded in the Transport, Postal and Warehousing and Manufacturing industry divisions.
  • A further six work-related traumatic injury fatalities were associated with the mechanism classification Being hit by moving objects involving transport vehicles and the safe movement of such. Four involved Trucks, semi-trailers, lorries, one involved Trains, and the sixth involved the classification of Cars, station wagons, vans, utilities. The fatalities were recorded in the following years: one in 2012–13, two in 2013–14, two in 2014–15, and one in 2015–16.
  • According to preliminary data, 733 mobile plant related LTI/Ds were recorded during 2016–17. The number of WA LTI/Ds involving mobile plant fell 24 per cent compared to 2012–13.
  • Of the mobile plant incidents reported during 2016–17p, more than a third (39 per cent) resulted in 60 days/shifts or more lost from work compared to 31 per cent of LTI/Ds in 2012–13.
  • A total of 72,971 days/shifts were estimated lost from work-related mobile plant incidences during 2016–17p which equates to about 100 days/shifts lost per LTI/D. Each LTI/D cost an estimated $61,790 – a 10.1 per cent increase compared to the cost per LTI/D in 2012–13 ($56,099).
  • Of the 733 LTI/Ds recorded in the mobile plant category during 2016–17p, the greatest proportion was attributable to the classification Trolleys, handcarts with 28 per cent (or 205 LTI/Ds) followed by Front-end loaders, log handling plant, other loading plant with 13.4 per cent (or 98), and Trailers, caravans with 12.1 per cent (or 89 LTI/Ds). Incidents in these categories decreased 7.2, 19.7, and 6.3 per cent respectively compared to 2012–13.
  • The largest increase of mobile plant LTI/Ds over the five-year period was for the classification Other and not specified mobile plant (up 142.9 per cent from seven LTI/Ds in 2012–13 to 17 in 2016–17p).
  • Forty-six per cent of cases during 2016–17p are associated with the mechanism Muscular stress while handling objects other than lifting, carrying or putting down objects. Other common mechanisms of incident are Being hit by moving objects (13.6 per cent), Falls from a height (11.1 per cent), and Hitting stationary objects (6.1 per cent).
  • With the exception of the mechanism classifications Explosion and Contact with hot objects which recorded less than five LTI/Ds in each comparative year, the largest increase of all mechanism classifications in relation to mobile plant LTI/Ds occurred under the category Falls on the same level. LTI/Ds increased 9.7 per cent, from 31 in 2012–13 to 34 in 2016–17p (more than 40 LTI/Ds were recorded in 2013–14, 2014–15, and 2015–16).
  • The most notable reductions over the same period include Exposure to mechanical vibration, (from 20 LTI/Ds in 2012-13 to <5 in 2016-17p), Being hit by falling objects, down 58.3 per cent (from 36 to 15 LTI/Ds), Being trapped between stationary and moving objects, down 44.7 per cent (from 38 to 21), and Being trapped by moving machinery or equipment, down 42.9 per cent (from 35 to 20).
  • The lower back, shoulder, knee and fingers are the most prevalent areas of the body affected by injuries involving mobile plant. During 2016–17p, these classifications recorded 120, 92, 77, and 53 LTI/Ds respectively. All recorded reduction over the five year period.
  • The age groups to experience an increase in mobile plant LTI/Ds during 2016–17p compared to 2012–13 was the 65-100 age group at 25 per cent (from 20 to 25 LTI/Ds), the 60-64 age group at 23.3 per cent (from 43 to 53), and the 45-54 age group at 4.4 per cent (from 203 to 212). The greatest reduction in LTI/Ds was recorded in the 20-24 age group (-58.7 per cent from 109 in 2012-13 to 45 in 2016-17p).
  • During the five year period from 2012–13 to 2016–17p the 45-54 year old age group accounted for the greatest proportion of mobile plant LTI/Ds (25 per cent) followed by the 35-44 year old age group (23 per cent).
  • Exploration and Other Mining Support Services (69 LTI/Ds) Construction Services (61), Metal Ore Mining (61), Agriculture (54), and Heavy and Civil Engineering Construction (45 LTI/Ds), and were the highest recording industry subdivisions of work-related mobile plant LTI/Ds during 2016–17p.
  • The most susceptible occupations to injuries involving mobile plant (in order of magnitude) during the five year period from 2012–13 to 2016–17p were Miner, Truck Driver (General), Fitter (General), Mobile Plant Operators nec, and Loader Operator.  
  • In respect to the safe movement of vehicles, the mechanism of incident classification of Being hit by moving objects, which among other things includes being hit by moving vehicles or moving parts of operated equipment, recorded a 14.5 per cent reduction in LTI/Ds during 2016–17p compared to 2012–13 (from 117 to 100). The number of LTI/Ds did however rise when compared to 2015–16 the previous year (from 95 to 100 LTI/Ds).
  • The proportion of severe cases (LTI/Ds 60+ days/shifts lost from work) of Being hit by moving objects involving mobile plant and the safe movement of vehicles increased over the same five year period, from 24 to 40 per cent.
  • The most common natures of injury associated with Being hit by moving objects involving mobile plant and the safe movement of vehicles over the five year reporting period were Contusion, bruising and superficial crushing, Other fractures, not elsewhere classified, and Laceration or open wound not involving traumatic amputation accounting for 29, 25, and 16 per cent of LTI/Ds respectively.

Machine guarding

  • There is no classification code to specifically define incidences resulting from a lack of “machine guarding”. The mechanism of incident Being trapped by moving machinery or equipment has been used as an indication of these types of incident. Other injuries may also have occurred in relation to machine guarding other than “being trapped”; however it is not possible to definitively identify such incidences via the coding framework.
  • There have been 10 work-related traumatic injury fatalities resulting from Being trapped by moving machinery or equipment during the period from 2012–13 to 2016–17 (three in 2012–13, two in 2013–14, one in 2014–15, and four in 2015–16). It is not always possible to categorically say all deaths relating to this mechanism were due to a lack of guarding on the machines involved.
  • The occupations of the 10 workers were varied as was the type of plant, machinery or equipment involved. These included but not limited to Forklift trucks (two deaths), Ore and stone crushers, Power hoists, Agricultural conveyors, Integrated mining plant, and Mobile platform and stairways.
  • Four of the deaths were recorded in the Mining industry division, three in Manufacturing and three in Agriculture, Forestry & Fishing.
  • 224 LTI/Ds were recorded for the mechanism of incident Being trapped by moving machinery or equipment during 2016–17p. Injuries in relation to this mechanism have fallen 11.1 per cent compared to 2012–13.
  • The proportion of severe LTI/Ds (60 days/shifts lost or more) increased over the five year period from 17 percent of total LTI/Ds in 2012–13 to 27 per cent in 2016–17p.
  • The most common natures of injury during 2016–17p associated with this mechanism of incident were Laceration or open wound not involving traumatic amputation (86 LTI/Ds), Other fractures, not elsewhere classified (55 LTI/Ds) and Contusion, bruising and superficial crushing (50 LTI/Ds); accounting for 38.4 and 24.6, and 22.3 per cent of LTI/Ds respectively.
  • The nature of injury classification Traumatic amputation accounted for 10.7 per cent of 2016–17p work-related LTI/Ds. Incidences decreased by 17.2 per cent compared to 2012–13 (from 29 LTI/Ds to 24).
  • The vast majority of amputations relating to the mechanism Being trapped by moving machinery or equipment continues to be Fingers and Thumb. In 2016–17p, 23 out of 24 Being trapped by moving machinery or equipment lost time injuries were associated with these areas of the body (or a combination).
  • The most common breakdown agency classifications involved with Being trapped by moving machinery or equipment incidences during 2016–17p were Other and not specified production line type of plant or stand-alone machinery (19); followed by Doors and windows, Power presses, Trucks, semi-trailers, lorries, and Cutting, slicing, mincing food preparation machines (each recording 12 LTI/Ds).
  • Fitter (General), Truck Driver (General), and Metal Fabricator, were the occupations (in order of magnitude) most susceptible to this type of injury during the five year period from 2012–13 to 2016–17p.
  • In 2016–17, the latest preliminary data year, the occupations of Fitter (General) and Metal Fabricator experienced the most LTI/Ds for Being trapped by moving machinery or equipment (14 and 12 LTI/Ds respectively).
  • The highest recording subdivisions in 2016–17p regarding these types of work-related injuries are Fabricated Metal Product Manufacturing (17 LTI/Ds), Construction Services (17), Food Product Manufacturing (15), Exploration and Other Mining Support Services (13), and Agriculture (12).

Hazardous substances

  • Preliminary data show that 233 LTI/Ds were recorded during 2016–17p for the mechanism of incident group Chemical and Other Substances — the second lowest level in the five year reporting period and a 22.8 per cent reduction compared to 2012–13.
  • The proportion of serious incidents (LTI/Ds where five or more days/shifts are lost from work) had decreased from 43 per cent of total LTI/Ds in 2012–13 to 41 per cent in 2016–17p.
  • The proportion of severe incidents (which resulted in 60 days/shifts or more lost from work) has increased over the five-year period from five per cent of total LTI/Ds in 2012–13 to eight per cent in 2015–16. Severe LTI/Ds currently account for 12 per cent of total LTI/Ds in 2016–17p.
  • The total number of estimated days lost in 2012–13 from such incidents was 5,517, increasing 22.4 per cent to 6,754 during 2016–17p. This equates to about 29 days/shifts lost from work per LTI/D in 2016–17p at an estimated cost of $16,731 per LTI/D.
  • Drilling down into this mechanism group, the greatest proportion of LTI/Ds is attributable to the subgroup Single contact with chemical of substance followed by Insect and spider bites and stings. During 2016–17p, these subgroups accounted for 65 per cent (or 151 LTI/Ds) and 30 per cent (or 70 LTI/Ds) respectively.
  • Poisoning and toxic effects of substances, Chemical burn, and Contact dermatitis are the most prevalent natures of injury associated with this mechanism group and are typical outcomes of contact with chemicals. All three classifications recorded reductions by a respective 24.1, 6.7, and 41.4 per cent during 2015-16p comparative to 2011-12.
  • The Eyeball, Hand and Respiratory system in general continue to be the parts of the body most affected by hazardous substances (in order of magnitude) over the five year reporting period. However in 2016–17p, the most affected bodily areas were Lung, trachea and bronchus and Eyeball (each recording 25 LTI/Ds), Eye unspecified and Hand (each recording 18 LTI/Ds), and Respiratory system in general increased (17 LTI/Ds).
  • During the five year period from 2012–13 to 2016–17p, Other chemical products (such as dyes), Insects, Spiders and other arachnids, and Industrial gases, fumes continue to be the most common breakdown agencies (in order of prevalence) of LTI/Ds relating to the Chemical and Other Substances mechanism of incident group.
  • The breakdown agency of injury classification of Insects was associated with the most LTI/Ds regarding chemicals and other substances in 2016–17p. LTI/Ds fell by 21.7 per cent during the five year reporting period (from 46 to 36 LTI/Ds).
  • Occupations to record the highest number of LTI/Ds during 2015-16p were Prison Officer with 20 LTI/Ds and Commercial Cleaner with 12 LTI/Ds. Other common occupations were Gardener (General), Truck Driver (General), Builder’s Labourer, and Technicians and Trades Workers, each recording six LTI/Ds.
  • During 2016–17p, the subdivisions to record the highest numbers of LTI/Ds relating to Chemicals and other substances were Public Order, Safety and Regulatory Services with 24 LTI/Ds followed by Construction Services (23), Primary Metal and Metal Product Manufacturing  and Hospitals (each recording 15 LTI/Ds). All recorded respective variances of a 118.2 per cent increase, 0.0 (no change), a 650 per cent increase, and a 25 per cent reduction compared to 2012–13.
  • During the five years from 2012–13 to 2016-17p, no work-related traumatic injury fatalities were recorded for the mechanism of incident group Chemical and Other Substances.
  • Diseases related to hazardous substances may have a long latency period and may not become evident until after a worker leaves the workforce.
  • Preventive health surveillance and air monitoring work reduces the likelihood of workers developing diseases.

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