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Reports Point to High Cost of Work Related Injuries


Tuesday, 13th March 2012 at 2:10 pm
Staff Reporter
Two new reports published by Safe Work Australia show that despite Australia recording its lowest number of work-related deaths since 2003-04, the total cost of work-related injury, illness and disease can now be assessed at more than $60 billion.


Tuesday, 13th March 2012
at 2:10 pm
Staff Reporter


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Reports Point to High Cost of Work Related Injuries
Tuesday, 13th March 2012 at 2:10 pm

Two new reports published by Safe Work Australia show that despite Australia recording its lowest number of work-related deaths since 2003-04, the total cost of work-related injury, illness and disease can now be assessed at more than $60 billion.

The Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Bill Shorten has released the two reports:

  • research on work-related fatalities titled Work-related Traumatic Injury Fatalities, Australia 2009-10; and
  • research on the economic cost of work-related injury and disease titled The Cost of Work-related Injury and Illness for Australian Employers, Workers and the Community: 2008-09

The Minister said the expert research in Work-related Traumatic Injury Fatalities, Australia 2009-10 showed Australia recording its lowest number of work-related deaths since 2003-04. In the reporting period of 2009-10, a total of 216 workers died tragically from injuries incurred while working.

“The findings show that we are making some progress in reducing the number of Australians killed each year at work. But of course any work-related death is still one too many. What we need is real change in all workplaces so people feel confident to speak up about safety issues and indeed where necessary tell the boss the bad news,” Shorten said.

The report found that the transport, construction and agriculture industries remain a particularly high risk for workers and bystanders.

The Minister also highlighted the other report The Cost of Work-related Injury and Illness for Australian Employers, Workers and the Community: 2008-09 estimates the total cost of work-related injury, illness and disease for the 2008-09 financial year at $60.6 billion or 4.8 per cent of Gross Domestic Product.

“Work-related injuries, illnesses and fatalities have a huge impact on Australian society. They can physically and mentally affect workers, colleagues, employers, families and the community.

“This latest research is evidence of the significant cost to Australia’s economy. Workplace safety is not just about avoiding human tragedy it is also about reducing economic cost for the nation,” he said.

“Work-related injuries, illnesses and fatalities have a huge impact on Australian society. They can physically and mentally affect workers, colleagues, employers, families and the community. Workplace safety is about avoiding human tragedy.

“In addition, this latest research is evidence of the significant cost to Australia’s economy – in the order of billions of dollars,” he said.

“This year the Government is launching the new national work health and safety strategy that will provide action areas to focus our efforts on and targets to reduce the number of Australians who suffer from work-related injury, illness and disease each year.”

The Minister will be hosting the 7th Annual Safe Work Australia Awards at Parliament House in Canberra on Thursday 26 April. These awards recognise the outstanding efforts of everyday Australian who are helping to reduce work-related injury, illness and disease and increase safety awareness.

More information on the reports and can be found at www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au 



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