COMPENDIUM OF WHS AND WORKERS COMPENSATION STATISTICS. October th Edition

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1 COMPENDIUM OF WHS AND WORKERS COMPENSATION STATISTICS October 215 7th Edition

2 DISCLAIMER This information is for guidance only and is not to be taken as an expression of the law. It should be read in conjunction with the relevant legislation. For more information contact your local workplace health and safety authority. PUBLICATION DETAILS Published by Comcare Commonwealth of Australia 215 All material presented in this publication is provided under a Creative Commons Attribution 3. Australia (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3./au/deed.en) licence. For the avoidance of doubt, this means this licence only applies to material as set out in this document. The details of the relevant licence conditions are available on the Creative Commons website (accessible using the links provided) as is the full legal code for the CC BY 3. AU licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3./legalcode). USE OF THE COAT OF ARMS The terms under which the Coat of Arms can be used are detailed on the It s an Honour website (http://www.itsanhonour.gov.au/coat-arms/index.cfm). CONTACT US Inquiries regarding the licence and any use of this document are welcome at: Communications Comcare GPO Box 995 Canberra ACT 261 Ph: COMCARE Compendium of WHS and Workers Compensation Statistics

3 CONTENTS 1 INTRODUCTION 5 2 SCHEME SNAPSHOT COVERAGE WHS Act coverage SRC Act coverage 12 4 WORKERS COMPENSATION AND WORK HEALTH AND SAFETY DATA Workers compensation claims Incidence of accepted claims Claims by nature of injury Claims by mechanism of incident Time lost Workers compensation claim characteristics Incurred costs Incurred cost by mechanism of incident Body stressing Mental stress Claims by mechanism of incident and gender Claims by age group Claims by mechanism of incident and age group Average estimated incurred cost of claims by age group (premium payers) Prevention targets Compensable worker fatalities Accepted claims with one week or more time lost Notifications of WHS incidents Notification incidence rate Notifications by mechanism of incident Notified worker fatalities 35 5 WORKERS COMPENSATION CLAIMS MANAGEMENT Workers compensation claims summary Claims lodged Claims determined Determination timeframes Initial claims acceptance rate Reconsiderations AAT reviews 4 6 REHABILITATION AND RETURN TO WORK Claim duration Time lost to date Time lost to date incapacity durations Median time lost injury and disease Current return to work rate 47 7 SCHEME REVENUE AND EXPENDITURE Revenue Premiums Scheme payments Scheme claim payments by type Performance Outstanding claims liabilities Funding ratio 51 8 DATA SOURCES AND RELATED INFORMATION 52 9 GLOSSARY/DEFINITIONS 53 COMCARE Compendium of WHS and Workers Compensation Statistics 3

4 FIGURES AND TABLES Figure 3.1 Legislative coverage of relevant Acts Figure 3.2 WHS Act coverage 9 Figure 4.1 Incidence of accepted claims 16 Figure 4.2 Accepted claims by nature of injury (scheme) 17 Figure 4.3 Accepted claims by nature of injury (premium payers) 17 Figure 4.4 Accepted claims by nature of injury (self-insured licensees) 18 Figure 4.5 Accepted claims initially determined in by mechanism of incident 18 Figure 4.6 Frequency of claims with one day time lost 19 Figure 4.7 Incidence of claims with one week time lost 19 Figure 4.8 Percentage and number of claims determined from to by mechanism of incident by incurred cost band (premium payers) 21 Figure 4.9 Incidence of body stressing claims 22 Figure 4.1 Average estimated incurred cost of body stressing claims (premium payers) 22 Figure 4.11 Body stressing claims by mechanism of incident initially accepted in Figure 4.12 Body stressing claims by occupation initially accepted in Figure 4.13 Incidence of mental stress claims 24 Figure 4.14 Average incurred cost of mental stress claims (premium payers) 24 Figure 4.15 Mental stress claims initially accepted in by mechanism of incident 25 Figure 4.16 Proportion of mental stress claims initially accepted in by mechanism of incident 25 Figure 4.17 Mental stress claims by occupation (initially accepted in ) 26 Figure 4.18 Claims initially accepted in by mechanism of incident (Males) 27 Figure 4.19 Claims initially accepted in by mechanism of incident (Females) 27 Figure 4.2 Estimated incidence of claims by age group Figure 4.21 Estimated incidence of claims accepted in by mechanism of incident and age group (premium payers) 29 Figure 4.22 Estimated incidence of claims accepted in by mechanism of incident and age group (self-insured licensees) 3 Figure 4.23 Average estimated incurred cost of claims by age group (premium payers) Figure 4.24 Accepted claims with one week time lost (Australian Government premium payers (excluding ACT Government) and self-insured licensees) 32 Figure 4.25 Notifications incidence rate (Comcare s WHS jurisdiction) 33 Figure 5.1 Incidence of claims lodged 36 Figure 5.2 Incidence of claims determined 37 Figure 5.3 Distribution of time (calendar days) to determine claims during (premium payers and self insured licensees) 38 Figure 5.4 Initial claims acceptance rate 38 Figure 6.1 Incidence of claims with one week or more time lost (premium payers) 42 Figure 6.2 Incidence of claims with one week or more time lost (self-insured licensees) 43 Figure 6.3 Time lost to date continuance rate to (Comcare scheme) 43 Figure 6.4 Median incapacity (scheme) 45 Figure 6.5 Median incapacity (premium payers) 45 Figure 6.6 Median incapacity (self-insured licensees) 46 Figure 6.7 Current return to work rate 47 Figure 7.1 Australian Government and ACT Government premium rates (excluding GST) 49 Figure 7.2 Workers compensation payments 5 Figure 7.3 Workers compensation payments by type 5 Table 3.1 WHS Act coverage as a percentage of Australian industry as at 3 June Table 3.2 WHS Act coverage by location as at 3 June Table 3.3 WHS Act coverage by size as at 3 June Table 3.4 SRC Act coverage as a percentage of Australian industry as at 3 June Table 3.5 SRC Act coverage by location as at 3 June Table 3.6 SRC Act coverage by size as at 3 June Table 4.1 Incurred costs for claims by mechanism of incident (premium payers only) 2 Table 4.2 Compensated fatalities (premium payers and self-insured licensees) 31 Table 4.3 Notifications by mechanism of incident Table 4.4 Number of notified worker fatalities 35 Table 5.1 Average time (calendar days) to determine claims 37 Table 5.2 Requests for reconsiderations received and decided 39 Table 5.3 Outcome of applications to the AAT (premium payers) 4 Table 5.4 Outcome of applications to the AAT (Self-insured licensees) 41 Table 6.1 Time lost to date 44 Table 7.1 Scheme revenue 48 Table 7.2 Outstanding claims liabilities (premium funded scheme) 51 Table 7.3 Comcare funding ratio 51 4 COMCARE Compendium of WHS and Workers Compensation Statistics

5 1 INTRODUCTION Comcare was established as a body under the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (SRC Act) and reports to the responsible Australian Government Minister for Employment. Comcare administers both the Commonwealth s statutory framework for rehabilitation and workers compensation under the SRC Act, and is the regulator under the Work Health and Safety Act 211 (Cth) (WHS Act). The Comcare scheme is a national safety, rehabilitation and workers compensation system that covers the Australian Government, the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Government and self-insured licensees. The Comcare Compendium of WHS and Workers Compensation Statistics (Compendium) helps Comcare meet its functions to collect, analyse and publish statistics relating to work health and safety (section 152(d) of the WHS Act), and to publish material relating to the rehabilitation of employees under the SRC Act (as described in section 69(e)). Scheme performance information presented in this Compendium has been compiled from a variety of sources including workers compensation claims, WHS incident notifications, survey data and financial reports. Claims based data can be subject to development and performance information and may therefore be updated when reported in future editions of the Compendium. Estimates of employee numbers used in this publication are as supplied to Comcare. For the most recent year for Australian Government and ACT Government employers, this may be an estimate which is subject to revision. COMCARE Compendium of WHS and Workers Compensation Statistics 5

6 2 SCHEME SNAPSHOT Area Coverage 2 Full time equivalent employees Under WHS Act Under SRC Act Workers compensation data Incidence of accepted claims Incidence of serious claims Average incurred cost of claims (premium payers only) $119 $111 Incidence of body stressing claims Incidence of mental stress claims Number of compensable deaths From injury Number of compensable deaths From disease Notification of WHS incidents Incidence rate of notifications Serious illness or injury Dangerous incident Notifiable worker fatalities Comcare s WHS jurisdiction 8 1 Workers compensation management and disputation claims Incidence of claims lodged Incidence of claims determined Initial claims acceptance rate 8% 77% Reconsiderations Requests for reconsideration Reconsiderations Affirmation rate 79% 78% AAT applications received Rehabilitation and return to work Median time lost (weeks) injury claims Median time lost (weeks) disease claims Incidence rates are expressed per 1 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) employees 2. Coverage represents FTE employees covered by relevant Acts as at 3 June in each period 6 COMCARE Compendium of WHS and Workers Compensation Statistics

7 3 COVERAGE Key points: > There were approximately 415 FTE employees covered under the WHS Act, representing approximately 3.5 per cent of all Australian employment. > The SRC Act covered approximately FTE employees, representing approximately 3.2 per cent of all Australian employment. > Four self-insured licensees joined the Comcare scheme in Figure 3.1 provides an overview of the Comcare scheme and shows the differences in coverage between the SRC Act and the WHS Act as at 3 June 215. This also illustrates the interaction between entities in the Comcare scheme with both the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 24 (MRC Act) and the Asbestos-related Claims (Management of Commonwealth Liabilities) Act 25 (ARC Act). The WHS Act covers Australian Government entities, self-insured licensees, a number of Commonwealth public authorities covered only by the WHS Act and the Australian Defence Force (ADF). The SRC Act covers Australian Government and ACT Government premium payers and self-insured licensees. Of the four self insured licensees that joined the scheme in , two have coverage under the SRC Act only. Since 1 July 24, ADF members have been covered for workers compensation by the MRC Act. COMCARE Compendium of WHS and Workers Compensation Statistics 7

8 Figure 3.1 Legislative coverage of relevant Acts 215 Commonwealth safety, rehabilitation and compensation scheme WHS Act 1 Comcare regulator Duties of care ARC Act 2 Comcare manages the Commonwealth s asbestos claims Commonwealth public authorities covered only by the WHS Act Australian Defence Force 62 FTE 5 Self-insured licensees 16 FTE Australian Government premium payers 188 FTE ACT Government premium payers 21 FTE Self-insured licensees (SRC Act only) 7 FTE 5 FTE MRC Act 3 MRCC regulator > DVA manages claims* > DVA meets liabilities > Defence manages rehabilitation > Employer protects health and safety of its employees at work > Employer manages claims > Employer meets liabilities > Employer protects health and safety of its employees at work > Comcare delivers recovery and support services > Comcare meets liabilities > Employer protects health and safety of its employees at work > Employer manages claims > Employer meets liabilities * Pre 24 injuries determined under the SRC Act Defence manages rehabilitation > Employer manages rehabilitation > Employer manages rehabilitation > Employer manages rehabilitation Discharging of liabilities Discharging of liabilities SRC Act 4 SRCC regulates licensee arrangements and Comcare regulates rehabilitation and other matters 1. Work Health and Safety Act Asbestos-related Claims (Management of Commonwealth Liabilities) Act Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act Prior to the 6th edition of the Compendium, a component of the ADF had been included on a headcount basis. as at 3 June COMCARE Compendium of WHS and Workers Compensation Statistics

9 3.1 WHS ACT COVERAGE The total number of FTE employees covered by the WHS Act between 3 June 211 and 3 June 215 is shown below in Figure 3.2. Employers covered by the WHS Act include Australian Government premium payers, self-insured licensees and the Australian Defence Force (ADF). Employers covered by the WHS Act pay an annual contribution for the regulatory and advisory functions provided by Comcare. As at 3 June 215, approximately 415 FTE employees were covered under the WHS Act. This coverage consisted of 193 FTE employees from the Australian Government, 16 FTE employees from self-insured licensees and 62 FTE employees from the ADF. There has been a two per cent decrease in the number of FTE employees covered between 3 June 212 and 3 June 215. In the year from 3 June 214 to 3 June 215, whilst there was no appreciable change in total FTE, there was a three per cent decrease in Australian Government FTE which was offset by a two per cent increase in self-insured licensee FTE. Figure 3.2 WHS Act coverage Number of FTE employees ( ) % 3 39% % 212 Australian Government 15% 14% 14% 39% 39% 38% 46% 47% 48% As at 3 June in each period Self-insured licensees Australian Defence Force COMCARE Compendium of WHS and Workers Compensation Statistics 9

10 Coverage as a percentage of industry WHS Act Table 3.1 provides a breakdown of FTE employees covered under the WHS Act, by Australian and New Zealand Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) 3, as a percentage of all Australian industry as at 3 June 215. The data show that the Comcare scheme s WHS jurisdiction covers approximately 3.5 per cent of all Australian industry. The Public administration and safety industry has the largest proportion of coverage (28.1 per cent), followed by the Information media and telecommunications industry (24.2 per cent) and the Financial and insurance services industry (15.5 per cent). Table 3.1 WHS Act coverage as a percentage of Australian industry as at 3 June 215 Industry Comcare WHS jurisdiction FTE at 3 June 215 Australian Gov t FTE* Self-insured licensees ADF Comcare WHS jurisdiction Australian industry FTE at May 215 Comcare as percentage of total industry Public administration and safety % Information media and telecommunications % Financial and insurance services % Transport, postal and warehousing % Professional, scientific and technical services % Manufacturing % All other industries % Construction % Education and training % Health care and social assistance % All industries % *includes a small number of employees within Commonwealth public authorities covered only by the WHS Act. Notes: 1. All other industries includes: Accommodation and food services; Administration and support services; Agriculture, forestry and fishing; Arts and recreation services; Electricity, gas, water and waste services; Mining; Other services; Rental, hiring and real estate services; and Wholesale trade as defined in ANZSIC Australian industry FTE estimate includes ADF. 3. Totals may not sum from components due to rounding. 4. ADF coverage estimated includes reservist and cadets on a FTE basis consistent with other coverage estimates as at 22 September 214. Prior to the 6th edition of the Compendium, this component of the ADF had been included on a headcount basis. This change has resulted in a lower coverage estimate for this sector of Comcare s WHS jurisdiction. 3 ANZSIC 26 Australian & New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) 26 ( ABS cat no ) 1 COMCARE Compendium of WHS and Workers Compensation Statistics

11 Coverage by location and organisation size WHS Act The geographic distribution of employees covered by the WHS Act across all Australian states and territories as at 3 June 215 is provided in Table 3.2. The majority of workers covered by the Comcare scheme approximately 29 per cent were located within New South Wales. Table 3.2 WHS Act coverage by location as at 3 June 215 State Australian Government ( ) Self-insured licensees ( ) Australian Defence Force ( ) Total ( ) Percentage of total scheme coverage New South Wales % Victoria % Queensland % South Australia % Western Australia % Tasmania % Northern Territory % Australian Capital Territory % Total % Table 3.3 WHS Act coverage by size as at 3 June 215 Table 3.3 provides a breakdown of employers covered by the WHS Act according to employer size (small, medium and large) as at 3 June 215. Approximately 99 per cent of employees from self-insured licensees worked for large employers, whilst approximately 91 per cent of employees from Australian Government worked for large employers. Employer size Premium payers Self-insured licensees ADF Number % of total Number % of total Number % of total Comcare WHS Jurisdiction Number % of total Small (less than 1 FTE employees) Medium (1 to 499 FTE employees) Large (5 or more FTE employees) All employers Employers %.%.% % FTE employees %.%.% % Employers % %.% 7 3.2% FTE employees % %.% % Employers % % 1 1.% % FTE employees % % % % Employers 21 1% 31 1% 1 1% 232 1% FTE employees % % % % COMCARE Compendium of WHS and Workers Compensation Statistics 11

12 3.2 SRC ACT COVERAGE This section summarises scheme demographics including industry classification, employer size and the geographical location of employers covered by the SRC Act. The Comcare scheme includes all Australian and ACT Government premium payers and self-insured licensees. Section 1 of the SRC Act enables the Minister for Employment to declare a corporation eligible to be granted a self-insurance licence if satisfied that the corporation: a) is, but is about to cease to be, a Commonwealth authority; or b) was previously a Commonwealth authority; or c) is carrying on business in competition with a Commonwealth authority or with another corporation that was previously a Commonwealth authority. As at 3 June 215, there were 33 self-insured licensees in the Comcare scheme with DHL Supply Chain and BankWest joining the scheme in Medibank Private and Medibank Health Solutions also transferred from premium paying agencies to become self-insured licensees. There were approximately FTE employees covered by the SRC Act, which is approximately 3.2 per cent of all employed persons in Australia 4 as at 3 June 215. There were approximately 28 7 FTE employees from premium payers (including the ACT Government) and approximately from self-insured licensees. As at 3 June 215, self-insured licensees accounted for around 44 per cent of total FTE employees covered by the SRC Act. Figure 3.3 shows the number of full time equivalent (FTE) employees covered by the SRC Act as at 3 June 215. During , there was a reduction in Australian Government FTE of approximately 44, offset by an increase in self-insured licensee FTE of approximately 1. Overall, there was an increase of approximately 55 FTE in SRC Act coverage. Figure 3.3 SRC Act coverage Number of FTE employees ( ) % 56% % 43% 42% 44% 57% 57% 58% 56% As at 3 June in each period Premium payers Self-insured licensees 4 Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) catalogue , Labour Force, Australia, May COMCARE Compendium of WHS and Workers Compensation Statistics

13 Coverage as a percentage of industry SRC Act Table 3.4 provides a breakdown of FTE employees covered under the SRC Act, by ANZSIC 5 industrial classification, as a percentage of all Australian industry as at 3 June 215. The data show that the SRC Act coverage is approximately 3.2 per cent of persons employed in Australia. The highest proportion are employed in the Information media and telecommunications industry (24.2 per cent) followed by those employed in the Public administration and safety industry (2.5 per cent) and Financial and insurance services industry (16.5 per cent). Table 3.4 SRC Act coverage as a percentage of Australian industry as at 3 June 215 Comcare scheme FTE at 3 June 215 Industry Australian and ACT Government Self-insured licensees Comcare scheme Australian industry FTE at May 215 Comcare as percentage of total industry Information, media and telecommunications % Public administration and safety % Financial and insurance services % Transport, postal and warehousing % Professional, scientific and technical services % Education and training % Health care and social assistance % Manufacturing % Construction % All other industries % All industries % Notes: 1. All others includes: Accommodation and food services, Administration and support services, Agriculture, forestry and fishing, Arts and recreation services, Electricity, gas, water and waste services, Mining, Other services, Rental, hiring and real estate services and Wholesale trade. 2. Australian industry FTE estimate includes ADF. 3. Australian industry FTE source: ABS 615. Australian Labour Market Statistics. 4. Totals may not sum from components due to rounding. 5 ANZSIC 26 Australian & New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) 26 ( ABS cat no ) COMCARE Compendium of WHS and Workers Compensation Statistics 13

14 Coverage by location and organisation size SRC Act The geographic distribution of employees covered by the SRC Act across all Australian states and territories as at 3 June 215 is provided in Table 3.5. The majority of workers covered by the Comcare scheme approximately 28 per cent were located within New South Wales, for both premium payers and self-insured licensees. Table 3.5 SRC Act coverage by location as at 3 June 215 State Premium payers ( ) Self insured licensees ( ) Total ( ) Percentage of total scheme coverage New South Wales % Victoria % Queensland % South Australia % Western Australia % Tasmania % Northern Territory % Australian Capital Territory % Total % Note: Totals may not sum from components due to rounding. Table 3.6 provides a breakdown of employers covered by the SRC Act according to employer size (small, medium and large) as at 3 June 215. Approximately 99 per cent of employees from self-insured licensees worked for large employers, whilst approximately 89 per cent of employees from premium payers worked for large employers. Table 3.6 SRC Act coverage by size as at 3 June 215 Employer size Small (less than 1 FTE employees) Medium (1 to 499 FTE employees) Large (5 or more FTE employees) All employers Premium payers Self-insured licensees Scheme Number % of total Number % of total Number % of total Employers %.% % FTE employees %.% % Employers % % % FTE employees % % % Employers % % % FTE employees % % % Employers 191 1% 33 1% 224 1% FTE employees % % % Note: Totals may not sum from components due to rounding. 14 COMCARE Compendium of WHS and Workers Compensation Statistics

15 4 WORKERS COMPENSATION AND WORK HEALTH AND SAFETY DATA Key points: > As at 3 June 215, there has been a 37 per cent reduction in the incidence of accepted claims across the scheme since > Body stressing was the most prevalent mechanism of incident among accepted claims in , representing 44 per cent of claims initially determined in the period. > The incidence of serious claims (claims with one week or more of incapacity) has been reducing over time, with the scheme recording an incidence rate of 7.1 claims per 1 FTE in > The incidence rate of mental stress claims has been reducing since the reporting period, with the incidence rate sitting at 1.1 claims per 1 FTE. > There were nine worker fatalities notified to Comcare during , under the WHS Act, that were assessed as notifiable. Comcare maintains a data warehouse which contains unit claims data supplied by self-insured licensees and Comcare for all claims lodged under the SRC Act. The records include, but are not limited to, occurrence details, incapacity determinations, claim payments, medical, rehabilitation and disputation data. The data warehouse does not contain data for pre-24 ADF claims managed by the Department of Veterans Affairs. While total claim costs and estimates of outstanding liability are available for claims managed by Comcare, only actual claim payments are analysable for claims managed by self-insured licensees. As a result, it is not possible to report aggregate scheme data relating to total claims costs within this Compendium. The data in this section is sourced from workers compensations claims lodged under the SRC Act and notifiable WHS incidents notified to Comcare under the WHS Act. Incidence rates are calculated utilising an adjusted FTE employee total for the full 12 month reporting periods. COMCARE Compendium of WHS and Workers Compensation Statistics 15

16 4.1 WORKERS COMPENSATION CLAIMS Incidence of accepted claims Figure 4.1 shows the incidence of claims accepted during the period to for premium payers, self-insured licensees and for the overall scheme. There has been a decrease of approximately 37 per cent in the incidence of claims accepted across the scheme since 21 11, with the scheme recording an incidence rate of 14.9 claims per 1 FTE in In , self-insured licensees accepted approximately 19 claims per 1 FTE employees, compared to approximately 12 claims per 1 FTE employees for premium payers. Over time, the incidence of claims accepted by self-insured licensees was higher than that of premium payers. Figure 4.1 Incidence of accepted claims 4 35 Claims per 1 FTE employees Year of initial determination Premium payers Self-insured licensees Scheme 16 COMCARE Compendium of WHS and Workers Compensation Statistics

17 4.1.2 Claims by nature of injury Figures 4.2, 4.3 and 4.4 show the incidence of claims accepted during the period to by condition claimed. Workers compensation claims are coded using the Type of Occurrence Classification System (TOOCS) see the glossary for more information. An injury is generally the result of a single identifiable incident, such as tripping over a bin at work, or as a result of a vehicle accident. A disease usually results from repeated or long-term exposure to an agent or event such as repetitive typing or driving for long periods in a static position. Under the SRC Act, psychological conditions are determined using the disease provisions. Between and , the scheme has observed an overall decrease in the incidence of disease claims, but increases in both injury and psychological claims. Since 21 11, both premium payers and self-insured licensees have shown a decrease in injury, disease and psychological claims. Figure 4.2 Accepted claims by nature of injury (scheme) 35 Claims per 1 FTE employees % 6% 35% 8% 7% 34% 8% 31% 3% 34% 58% 6% 61% 62% 59% Year of initial determination Injury Disease Psychological Figure 4.3 Accepted claims by nature of injury (premium payers) 35 Claims per 1 FTE employees % 12% 17% 16% 15% 41% 36% 36% 36% 37% 45% 52% 47% 48% 48% Year of initial determination Injury Disease Psychological COMCARE Compendium of WHS and Workers Compensation Statistics 17

18 Figure 4.4 Accepted claims by nature of injury (self-insured licensees) Claims per 1 FTE employees % 2% 32% 2% 33% 1% 26% 24% 2% 31% 67% 65% 72% 74% 67% Year of initial determination Injury Disease Psychological Claims by mechanism of incident Figure 4.5 shows the percentage of claims by mechanism of incident for claims accepted during for both premium payers and self-insured licensees. The mechanism of incident identifies the overall action, exposure or event that best describes the circumstances that resulted in the most serious injury or disease. Body stressing was the most prevalent mechanism of incident over the reporting period. During , around half of all accepted claims for both premium payers and self insured licensees were due to body stressing. Falls, trips and slips also represented a significant proportion of claims, accounting for around 2 per cent of both premium payers and self-insured licensees claims. Being hit by moving objects accounted for seven per cent of premium payers and 11 per cent of self-insured licensees claims. Mental stress was a significant cause of claims for premium payers, accounting for 15 per cent of claims, compared to two per cent of claims for self-insured licensees. Figure 4.5 Accepted claims initially determined in by mechanism of incident 5% 45% 46% Percentage of accepted claims 4% 35% 3% 25% 2% 15% 1% 5% % 41% 21% 19% 7% 11% 4% 12% 15% 2% 4% 6% 7% 4% Body stressing Falls, trips and slips of a person Hit by moving objects Vehicle incidents and other Mechanism of incident Mental stress Hitting objects with body All other Premium payers Self-insured licensees 18 COMCARE Compendium of WHS and Workers Compensation Statistics

19 4.1.4 Time lost A frequency rate provides an exposure measure that broadly shows the rate of harm for each hour worked. Figure 4.6 shows the frequency of claims that first reached one day time lost during the period to In , the scheme recorded 3.9 claims with one day time lost per million hours worked a 2 per cent decrease from The higher frequency rate recorded by self-insured licensees reflects, in part, differences in risk profile between premium payers and self-insured licensees. Figure 4.6 Frequency of claims with one day time lost Claims per million hours worked Year claim reached 1 day time lost Premium payers Self-insured licensees Scheme Figure 4.7 shows the incidence rate of claims that first reached one week time lost during the period to Since 21 11, the incidence rate of serious claims claims that reached one week time lost decreased by 17 per cent for premium payers and by 24 per cent for self-insured licensees. Figure 4.7 Incidence of claims with one week time lost 12 Claims per 1 FTE employees Year claim reached 1 week time lost Premium payers Self-insured licensees Scheme COMCARE Compendium of WHS and Workers Compensation Statistics 19

20 4.2 WORKERS COMPENSATION CLAIM CHARACTERISTICS Incurred costs For claims accepted during the period and , Table 4.1 shows a breakdown of incurred cost by mechanism of incident. The data below covers premium payers only as incurred claim costs are not available for self-insured licensees. The average incurred cost per claim is the cost to date plus estimated outstanding liability (estimated at March 215). It should be noted that the average incurred cost per claim is an estimate which may change as the claims mature. During the period, body stressing injuries/diseases accounted for approximately 4 per cent of all claims for premium payers. They also accounted for approximately 3 per cent of incurred cost, with an average incurred cost per claim of approximately $89 currently reported for claims determined in Mental stress claims accounted for approximately 15 per cent of all accepted claims in , however these claims represented a higher proportion of incurred cost at 4 per cent. The average incurred cost per mental stress claim in this period is approximately $288. Table 4.1 Incurred costs for claims by mechanism of incident (premium payers only) Mechanism of incident % of all accepted claims % of total claim costs* ** Average incurred cost per claim ($) Body stressing 44% 34% 9 Falls, trips and slips of a person 19% 9% 6 Mental stress 16% 46% 338 Hit by moving objects 9% 4% 59 Hitting objects with the body 3% 1% 39 Vehicle incidents and other 3% 3% 11 Sound and pressure 2% Less than 1% 35 Chemicals and other substances 2% 1% 97 Heat, radiation and electricity Less than 1% Less than 1% 36 Biological factors Less than 1% Less than 1% 165 All mechanisms of incident 1% 1% ** Body stressing 41% 33% 89 Falls, trips and slips of a person 21% 14% 75 Mental stress 15% 38% 288 Hit by moving objects 7% 4% 66 Vehicle incidents and other 4% 4% 94 Hitting objects with the body 4% 1% 41 Sound and pressure 3% Less than 1% 24 Chemicals and other substances 2% 3% 168 Heat, radiation and electricity 1% Less than 1% 39 Biological factors 1% 1% 13 All mechanisms of incident 1% 1% 111 * Incurred cost is the cost to date plus estimated outstanding liability (estimated at March 215). ** Year of initial determination. 2 COMCARE Compendium of WHS and Workers Compensation Statistics

21 4.2.2 Incurred cost by mechanism of incident Figure 4.8 shows the distribution of costs of claims for the three most common mechanisms of incident compared to all claims determined during to > The mental stress band shows that 24 per cent of mental stress claims had an incurred cost of more than $5. > With regards to falls, trips and slips of a person, over 4 per cent of claims will incur a cost of under $5 per claim. > Body stressing claims also had a significant proportion of claims incurring costs of under $5, though it also had a significant number of claims with a total incurred cost in the higher cost bands. > These three categories of claim account for approximately 8 per cent of the total claims over the same period. Figure 4.8 Percentage and number of claims determined from to by mechanism of incident by incurred cost band (premium payers) Mental stress Falls, trips and slips of a person Body stressing All claims Incurred cost band $ <5k 5k to <2k 2k to <5k 5k to <2k 2k to <5k >=5k % 1% 2% 3% 4% 5% 6% 7% 8% 9% 1% Percentage of claims COMCARE Compendium of WHS and Workers Compensation Statistics 21

22 4.2.3 Body stressing Figure 4.9 shows the incidence of body stressing claims accepted during the period to The data show that the incidence of these claims across the scheme continues to decline, with the reduction most evident in workers compensation claims from self-insured licensees. Figure 4.9 Incidence of body stressing claims 16 Claims per 1 FTE employees Year of initial determination Premium payers Self-insured licensees Scheme Incurred cost of body stressing claims premium payers Since 21 11, despite an increase in the average incurred cost of accepted body stressing claims, the average incurred cost of these claims remained below that of all other claims (Figure 4.1). Latest estimates indicate that the average incurred cost of body stressing claims is approximately $89 per claim. The data below covers premium payers only, as incurred costs are not available for self-insured licensees. Figure 4.1 Average estimated incurred cost of body stressing claims (premium payers) 2 Average incurred cost $(') Year of initial determination Body stressing All claims (excluding body stressing) 22 COMCARE Compendium of WHS and Workers Compensation Statistics

23 Body stressing claims by mechanism of incident and occupation Figure 4.11 shows a breakdown, by mechanism of incident, of body stressing claims accepted during for both premium payers (985 claims) and self-insured licensees (1449 claims). Approximately 45 per cent of body stressing claims for premium payers were due to repetitive movement with low muscle loading (which includes occupational overuse), with a further 24 per cent due to muscular stress while lifting, carrying or putting down objects. The predominant cause of body stressing claims for self-insured licensees was muscular stress while lifting, carrying or putting down objects (42 per cent) with muscular stress while handling objects (other than lifting, carrying or putting down) accounting for 31 per cent. Figure 4.11 Body stressing claims by mechanism of incident initially accepted in Muscular stress while lifting, carrying, putting down objects 845 Repetitive movement, low muscle loading 624 Muscular stress while handling objects excluding lift, carry, putting down 586 Muscular stress with no objects being handled Number of claims Premium payers Self-insured licensees Figure 4.12 shows a breakdown of body stressing claims accepted during by occupation group. Clerical and administration workers accounted for the largest number of body stressing claims (approximately 43 per cent of all body stressing claims across the scheme). Self-insured licensees also recorded a significant number of body stressing claims in the machinery operators and drivers, technicians and trades workers and labourers occupational groups. Figure 4.12 Body stressing claims by occupation initially accepted in Clerical and administrative workers Machinery operators/drivers Technical and trades workers Professionals Community and personal service workers Labourers Managers Sales workers Number of claims Premium payers Self-insured licensees COMCARE Compendium of WHS and Workers Compensation Statistics 23

24 4.2.4 Mental stress The incidence of mental stress claims accepted during the period to is shown in Figure 4.13 below. During the period the incidence of mental stress claims across the scheme decreased by 25 per cent, with a 22 per cent decrease seen for premium payers and a 38 per cent decrease for self-insured licensees. The incidence of mental stress claims has been consistently lower for self-insured licensees than for premium payers in the scheme. Figure 4.13 Incidence of mental stress claims 3. Claims per 1 FTE employees Year of initial determination Premium payers Self-insured licensees Scheme Figure 4.14 shows that during the reporting period the average incurred cost of accepted mental stress claims remained high compared to all other claims. Latest estimates indicate that the average incurred cost of mental stress claims was approximately $288. The data below covers premium payers only as total claim costs are not available for self-insured licensees. Figure 4.14 Average incurred cost of mental stress claims (premium payers) 35 Average incurred cost $(') Year of initial determination Mental stress All claims (excl. mental stress) 24 COMCARE Compendium of WHS and Workers Compensation Statistics

25 Mental stress claims initially accepted in A breakdown by mechanism of incident of the number of mental stress claims accepted during is shown in Figure 4.15 below. This figure shows the similarities in the mechanism of incident sub-groups for mental stress claims between premium payers and self-insured licensees. For both premium payers and self-insured licensees, the most significant sub-groups for mental stress claims were work pressure and work related harassment and/or bullying (36 and 27 per cent of claims respectively). Figure 4.15 Mental stress claims initially accepted in by mechanism of incident Work pressure 15 Work-related harassment and/or bullying 141 Exposure to workplace or occupational violence 58 Exposure to traumatic event 31 Other mental stress factors Number of claims Premium payers Self-insured licensees Figure 4.16 shows that self-insured licensees, when compared to premium payers, had higher proportions of claims in the subgroups of exposure to workplace and/or occupational violence (16 per cent of claims compared to 14 per cent respectively) and exposure to traumatic event (24 per cent of claims compared to five per cent of claims respectively). Figure 4.16 Proportion of mental stress claims initially accepted in by mechanism of incident Work pressure 25% 39% Work-related harassment and/or bullying 27% 36% Exposure to workplace or occupational violence 14% 16% Exposure to traumatic event 5% 24% Other mental stress factors 6% 7% % 1% 2% 3% 4% 5% Percentage of claims Premium payers Self-insured licensees COMCARE Compendium of WHS and Workers Compensation Statistics 25

26 Figure 4.17 shows the number of mental stress claims accepted during by occupation group. The largest number of claims for premium payers was for employees classified as clerical and administration workers followed by managers, professionals and community and personal service workers. The largest number of mental stress claims for self-insured licensees was also for clerical and administration workers with the second highest group being machinery operators and drivers. Figure 4.17 Mental stress claims by occupation (initially accepted in ) Clerical and administrative workers Managers 69 2 Professionals Community and personal service workers Technical and trades workers Machinery operators/drivers Labourers Sales workers Number of claims Premium payers Self-insured licensees 26 COMCARE Compendium of WHS and Workers Compensation Statistics

27 4.2.5 Claims by mechanism of incident and gender Figures 4.18 and 4.19 show the distribution of claims accepted during by mechanism of incident and gender. These figures are actual claim numbers and do not take into account the relative proportion of male and female workers employed by premium payers and self-insured licensees. For premium payers, males accounted for approximately 37 per cent of all claims related to falls, trips and slips and body stressing, while for self-insured licensees, males accounted for approximately 76 per cent of claims related to falls, trips and slips and body stressing. Note: The category all other mechanisms of incidents includes biological factors, sound and pressure, heat, electricity and other environmental factors and chemicals and other substances. Figure 4.18 Claims initially accepted in by mechanism of incident (Males) Number of claims Body stressing Falls, trips and slips of a person Mental stress Hit by moving objects Mechanism of incident Hitting objects with the body Vehicle incidents and other All other mechanisms of incident Premium payers Male Self-insured licensees Male Figure 4.19 Claims initially accepted in by mechanism of incident (Females) Number of claims Body stressing Falls, trips and slips of a person Mental stress Hit by moving objects Mechanism of incident Hitting objects with the body Vehicle incidents and other All other mechanisms of incident Premium payers Female Self-insured licensees Female COMCARE Compendium of WHS and Workers Compensation Statistics 27

28 4.2.6 Claims by age group Figure 4.2 shows the estimated incidence of claims accepted during the period by age group. The incidence rates shown below were estimated using age distribution data for self-insured licensees 6, the ACT Government 7 and the Australian Public Service 8. The data show that with the exception of the under 25s for self-insured licensees, the number of claims per 1 FTE employees increased with age, with the highest incidence rates in both sectors occurring in the 55 years and over bracket. Understanding the distribution of claims by age can assist an employer in identifying workplace hazards and developing preventative strategies to minimise the risk of harm of its workers. Figure 4.2 Estimated incidence of claims by age group Claims determined per 1 FTE employees under and over Year of initial determination Premium payers Self-insured licensees Scheme 6 Estimates for self-insured licensees as supplied by self-insured licensees 7 Estimates for ACT Government age distribution data supplied by ACT Government 8 Australian Public Service Commission, Australian Public Service Employee Database internet interface (APSEDii) 28 COMCARE Compendium of WHS and Workers Compensation Statistics

29 4.2.7 Claims by mechanism of incident and age group Figure 4.21 shows the estimated incidence of claims accepted during by mechanism of incident and age group for premium payers. The incidence rates shown below were estimated using age distribution data for the ACT Government 9 and the Australian Public Service 1. The data show that the incidence of claims for body stressing peaks for those workers aged 45 and over. The incidence of claims for falls, trips and slips generally increases with age, and mental stress is more prevalent within the over 55 age group. Figure 4.21 Estimated incidence of claims accepted in by mechanism of incident and age group (premium payers) Claims per 1 FTE employees Body stressing Falls, trips and slips of a person Under Mental stress Hit by moving objects Mechanism of injury Hitting objects with the body Vehicle incidents and other All other mechanisms of incident 55 and over Average Note: All other mechanisms of incident category is a sub-total of biological factors, chemicals and other substances, heat, radiation and electricity, and sound and pressure. 9 Estimates for ACT Government age distribution data supplied by ACT Government 1 Australian Public Service Commission, Australian Public Service Employee Database internet interface (APSEDii) COMCARE Compendium of WHS and Workers Compensation Statistics 29

30 Figure 4.22 below shows the estimated incidence of claims accepted during by mechanism of incident and age group for self-insured licensees. The incidence rates shown below were estimated using age distribution data for self-insured licensees 11. The data show that the incidence of claims for body stressing peaks for those workers aged 45 and over. The incidence of claims for falls, trips and slips and vehicle incidence generally increases with age, whilst mental stress shows the least variation of any mechanism of incident. Figure 4.22 Estimated incidence of claims accepted in by mechanism of incident and age group (self-insured licensees) Claims per 1 FTE employees Body stressing Falls, trips and slips of a person Under Hit by moving objects Vehicle incidents and other Mechanism of injury Hitting objects with the body Mental stress All other mechanisms of incident 55 and over Average Note: All other mechanisms of incident category is a sub-total of biological factors, chemicals and other substances, heat, radiation and electricity, and sound and pressure Average estimated incurred cost of claims by age group (premium payers) Figure 4.23 shows the average incurred cost of claims accepted during by age group. The data covers claims for the Australian and ACT Government premium payers only. This figure shows that the years age group has the highest average incurred cost of claims, followed by the years age group. This should be taken into consideration with workforce demographic data published by the Australian Public Service Commission 12. The date shows that higher classification levels (APS6 and above) are significantly more prevalent in these age groups, with the APS6 classification group being the largest by number of employees in the Australian Public Service for the year. Figure 4.23 Average estimated incurred cost of claims by age group (premium payers) Average incurred cost $(') Under and over Age group 11 Estimates for self-insured licensees as supplied by employers 12 Australian Public Service Commission, Australian Public Service Employee Database internet interface (APSEDii) 3 COMCARE Compendium of WHS and Workers Compensation Statistics

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