Safety in numbers: Experiences in the WA workers compensation scheme. Chris White A/CEO, WorkCover WA

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1 Safety in numbers: Experiences in the WA workers compensation scheme Chris White A/CEO, WorkCover WA Perth Safety Conference Safety Institute of Australia 9 August

2 Role of agencies: prevention to management of work-related injuries and diseases Prevention Management 2

3 3 Source: The Cost of Work-related Injury and Illness for Australian Employers, Workers and the Community: , Safe Work Australia 2012.

4 Cost of workplace injury and illness in WA: 2008/09 Economic cost of workplace injury and illness % of Gross State product Queensland 5.3% South Australia 5.0% New South Wales 4.9% Victoria 4.3% Western Australia 3.1% Source: The Cost of Work-related Injury and Illness for Australian Employers, Workers and the Community: , Safe Work Australia 2012 ABS State Accounts (Catalogue No ) November

5 Workers compensation in Western Australia Claims and Policy Administration Outsourced 5

6 Pathways in the WA workers compensation scheme Statutory entitlements Settlement Common law None/temporary incapacity Partial permanent incapacity * Total permanent incapacity 6 * * certain criteria need to be met

7 WorkCover WA s role in the WA workers compensation scheme Regulation Scheme design Performance monitoring Dispute services Education & Information Legislation/ policy Statistics/ research Conciliation Service Advisory Services Arbitration Service Compliance Services 7

8 Overview of claims in the WA workers compensation scheme 39,606 Total number of workers' compensation claims lodged in 2011/12 p 18,845 (48%) Number of workers' compensation claims with lost time in 2011/12 p 1,343 (3%) Number of disputes lodged for workers' compensation claims 8 p = preliminary figure

9 Number of claims Claims trends: 2007/08 to 2011/12 50,000 40,000 42,123 38,910 40,548 37,698 38,910 39,606 30,000 20,000 10,000 18,097 (47%) 14,293 13,571 12,525 13,022 13,471 4,003 4,143 4,120 5,075 5, ,706 (4%) 2007/ / / / /12p Claim lodgement year 9 Total number of workers' compensation claims lodged Total number of 1-59 days lost time claims Total number of long duration claims (60 days or more) p = preliminary figure

10 Average days lost (lost time claims only) Average days lost by age: 2009/10 to 2010/ Long duration claims: 60+ days Female Male Age Group

11 Proportion of claim costs by entitlements: 2011/12 Common law and lump sum payments, 28% Treatment service payments, 25% Legal and other service payments, 11% Income payment, 37% 11

12 Nature of injuries and diseases (LTI/Ds 10+ days lost time): 2009/10 to 2010/11 Traumatic joint/ligament and muscle/tendon injury 57.1% Wounds, lacerations, amputations and internal organ damage 16.3% Fractures 12.4% Musculoskeletal and connective tissue diseases 4.2% Mental conditions 4.1% 12 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60%

13 Traumatic joint/ligament and muscle/tendon injury Mechanism and agency of traumatic joint/ligament and muscle/tendon injury: 2009/10 and 2010/11 Body stressing Non-powered hand tools, appliances or equipment Materials and substances e.g. Metals Slips, trips and falls Indoor/outdoor environment 13 Hit by moving objects Other person or human agency Non-powered hand tools, appliances or equipment

14 Wounds, lacerations, amputations and internal organ damage Wounds, lacerations, amputations and internal organ damage: 2009/10 and 2010/11 Hit by moving objects Machinery and mainly fixed plants Non-powered hand tools, appliances or equipment Hitting objects with a part of the body Non-powered hand tools, appliances or equipment Materials and substances 14 Falls, trips and slips Indoor/outdoor environment Non-powered hand tools, appliances or equipment

15 Lost time claim frequency rate by industry: 2010/11 Manufacturing Arts and recreation services Health care and social assistance Transport, postal and warehousing Agriculture, forestry and fishing Construction All Industry Average Education and training Wholesale trade Retail trade Accommodation and food services Rental, hiring and real estate services Public administration and safety Mining Electricity, gas, water and waste services Other services Administrative and support services Information media and telecommunications Professional, scientific and technical services Financial and insurance services Lost time claims per million hours worked

16 Average time lost (days) for lost time claims by industry: 2010/11 Industries where average time lost >68 days (industry mean) Mining 89 days Health care and social assistance 78 days Administrative and support services 75 days Transport, postal and warehousing 72 days Public administration and safety 71 days 16

17 Return to work WA 100% 90% 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 77% Durable return to work rate 30% 20% 14% 9% 10% 17 0% Currently working Not working (work-related injury) Not working (reasons other than work-related injury)

18 Durable return to work rate Return to work - National 100% 80% 80% 77% 75% 72% 75% 77% 60% 40% 20% 0% 2005/ / / / / /11 Survey year 18 Source: Heads of Workers Compensation Authorities:

19 The longer off work, the greater the risk of not returning to work Time off work % probability of RTW 20 days 70% 45 days 50% 70 days 35% Source: WorkSafe Victoria

20 The link between work and wellbeing Long term absence from work is one of the greatest known risks to public health Health risk = smoking 10 packs of cigarettes per day 1 Suicide in young men > 6 months out of work, is increased x40 2 Greater risk than most dangerous jobs 3 Professor Sir Mansel Aylward Director of the Centre for Psychosocial and Disability Research Cardiff University 1. Ross J. Where do real dangers lie? Smithsonian 1995; 8: Wessely S. Mental health issues. In: KH-E, ed. What about the workers? Proceedings of an RSM Symposium. London: Royal Society of Medicine 20 Press; 2004: Aylward M. No one written off: Reforming welfare to reward responsibility. In: Consultation Event DWP Welfare Reform Green Paper Cardiff; 2008

21 Realising the health benefits of work Key recommendations: Health professionals to support people to enter, state in or return to work Employers ensure that workplaces are safe and have a workplace culture conducive to health and wellbeing Government support health professionals, leading medical bodies, employers, unions, researchers and other parties to focus on the health and wellbeing benefits of work Source: 21

22 22 Looking at the broader picture

23 An ageing workforce 23 Source: Tim Colebatch, The Age 9 February 2012

24 Lost time claim costs: younger vs. older workers 2010/11 Age group No of employees Incidence rate Average cost per claim , $28, , $42,000 24

25 Ageing workforce: which industries? Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing 44% 56% Finance and Insurance 50% 50% Cultural and Recreational Services 53% 47% Communication Services 56% 44% Transport and Storage 57% 43% Construction 58% 42% Aged 15 to 44 Aged 45 and over 25 Sources: Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2006 Census of Population Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations

26 Work-related stress $14.8 billion annual cost to Australian economy in stress related presenteeism and absenteeism 1 Work-related stress has increased in the past decade across all OECD countries The Cost of Workplace Stress in Australia, Medibank Private, August Sick on the Job? Myths and Realities about Mental Health and Work, OECD 2011

27 27 Work-related stress claims in WA

28 28 Sedentary workplace activity

29 FIFO workers Key health challenges: FIFO workers are more likely to be: current smokers drink alcohol at risky levels be overweight/obese 1 29 Source: Joyce SJ, Tomlin SM, Somerford PJ, Weeramanthri TS. Health behaviours and outcomes associated with fly-in and fly-out and shift workers in Western Australia, Internal Medicine Journal (accepted article)

30 30 Putting the pieces together

31 31 Finding WorkCover WA statistics

32 Thank you 32

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