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SafeWork Report Reveals shocking Results Higher injury rates for casual workers SafeWork Australia recently conducted a study which revealed that casual workers are more likely to suffer injury at work that permanent workers. Interestingly enough females also reported higher injury rates than males. Employers should be aware of these figures and the trends that contribute to them in order to minimise their occurrence. The report investigated the injuries sustained by male and female employees across various age groups and demographics in order to identify areas in work health and safety that require attention and improvement. The study was carried out in 2009-2012 and an astonishing 640,000 employees reported an injury sustained at work over this period. Male workers injuries seemed to be declining while female workers injuries were on the increase. Casual workers, not surprisingly were the greatest demographic that reported injuries during that time period, indicating the need for employers to provide the correct education, training and supervision to casual workers that they provide to other workers. The report also revealed that shift workers are more vulnerable to injury than those that work normal hours. It is also interesting to note that sprains and strains were reported as the number one cause of injury across all demographics. This report by has more: A report released by Safe Work Australia has found that casual workers recorded a work-related injury rate 50% higher than non-casual workers in 2009-10, with females reporting a significantly higher rate of injuries per hour worked than males. The report, ‘Australian work-related injury experience by sex and age, 2009-2010’, examines the work-related injury experience of male and female workers across different age groups. It provides data that can assist industry identify demographics where work health and safety can be improved. In 2009-10, close to 640,000 workers reported they had suffered a work-related injury, which is close to triple the population of a city the size of Hobart. While males recorded a 19% fall in the number of injuries incurred at work since 2005-06, the number for females increased by 11%, indicating that more effort is needed to improve work health and safety for Australian workers. Other key findings of the report include: •Casual workers (those without leave entitlements) reported 54 injuries per million hours


worked compared with a rate of 35 for those with leave entitlements. •Working under shift arrangements or as a part-time worker was also associated with higher rates of injury. Half of all female workers worked part-time in 2009-10. •For each hour worked, females had a 28% higher risk of injury compared with male workers. •High rates of injury were experienced in the accommodation and food services industry. This industry has high levels of casual and part-time work. •The most common cause of injury across all age groups was sprain/strain. •Workers aged 15-24 recorded rates of injury substantially higher than other age groups. Source:

The report can be viewed by visiting: s/Pages/AustWRI_BySexAge2009-10.aspx The fact that statistics prove young workers, between the ages of 15 to 24 have the highest injury rate as compared with other age groups, demonstrates the need for employers to pay particular attention to training and supervising these workers. Especially because young workers are more often than not very inexperienced and are still developing, both mentally and physically. Young workers are also new to the working world and lack the experience, knowledge or skills to understand the risks involved in work they are doing, especially construction work. Because construction work is particularly dangerous young workers should receive both site specific and general induction training. Once they have been sufficiently trained they still need to be supervised especially when undertaking dangerous tasks, such as those involved in construction. Often inexperienced and young workers do not feel confident enough to ask questions or speak up if there is a problem for fear of looking incapable or losing their job. Also young workers may engage in dangerous work practices because they are following the example of experienced workers who don’t always set a good example for OHS in the workplace. By taking all of these statistics into consideration, employers can tailor their work health and safety training and procedures in order to maximise safety and minimise the injury related to these specific demographic groups.


Posted by Peter Cutforth

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SafeWork Report Reveals shocking Results