Safe Work Australia has published new stats on workers’ compensation. 

The Australian workers’ compensation statistics 2019-20 report provides the latest national statistics on accepted serious workers’ compensation claims.

Key findings in 2019-20 include:

  • There were 120,355 serious workers’ compensation claims

  • 31 per cent of serious claims were for illness and diseases. Of these, mental health conditions were the most common 

  • The 3 occupations with the highest frequency rate of serious claims were:

    • labourers

    • community and personal service workers

    • machinery operators and drivers

  • The 3 industries with the highest frequency rate of serious claims were:

    • agriculture, forestry and fishing

    • manufacturing

    • transport, postal and warehousing

  • 69 per cent of serious claims were for injuries. The 3 most common injury types were:

    • traumatic joint/ligament and muscle/tendon injuries (38 per cent of all serious claims)

    • musculoskeletal and connective tissue diseases (18 per cent)

    • wounds, lacerations, amputations and internal organ damage (16 per cent)

The stats also show that the number of serious claims has fallen by 13 per cent from 133,041 claims in 2000–01 to 115,707 claims in 2018–19. 

The median time lost for a serious claim was 7 working weeks. The median compensation paid was $14,500.

Disturbingly, while a relatively low proportion of claims relate to occupational violence, such injuries are on the rise. Serious claims for being assaulted by a person or persons have more than doubled since 2000–01 (up by 128 per cent).