SafeWork Australia released a new report in November, titled ‘Work-related injuries in Australia: Who did and didn’t receive workers’ compensation in 2009-10′. The report samples a group of people aged 15 and over who worked at some time in the last 12 months and experienced a work-related injury or illness in that period. The report considers employees only.
567 500 employees were injured during 2009-10 while working but only 38% received workers compensation, this shows a decrease in the number of injuries compared to last year and shows an increase in claims (33% previously).
It was found that male employees were more likely to receive workers compensation than females, increasing 4% since 2005-06. Interestingly a greater proportion of female employees felt their claim was too minor to claim for, breaking some common myths around the different sexes likelihood to claim. Age seemed to play only a small role in likelihood to claim. It was also noted that employees who have leave entitlements were more likely to receive compensation than casual employees, who were more likely to think that their injury was to minor to claim and often thought they were not covered by workers compensation.
Workers who lost 5 or more days were more likely to claim (73%), compared to only 23% of injured workers who claimed for medical expenses and did not loose time. For injuries involving less than 5 days off work, 31% used sick leave. Medicare and other social security payments were access by 7% of all injured employees. The data showed that ‘no financial assistance was received by 12% of employees who incurred injuries that involved 5 or more days off work’.
Falls were the most likely injury to be compensated for, whilst exposure to metal stress was the least likely.
The full report can be view here.