Progress Towards the 2020 target

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1 Progress Towards the 2020 target I

2 ISBN (online) March 2014 Crown Copyright 2014 The material contained in this report is subject to Crown copyright protection unless otherwise indicated. The Crown copyright protected material may be reproduced free of charge in any format or media without requiring specific permission. This is subject to the material being reproduced accurately and not being used in a derogatory manner or in a misleading context. Where the material is being published or issued to others, the source and copyright status should be acknowledged. The permission to reproduce Crown copyright protected material does not extend to any material in this report that is identified as being the copyright of a third party. Authorisation to reproduce such material should be obtained from the copyright holders. II

3 Progress Towards the 2020 target Progress at a glance 3 The indicators 6 Indicator 1: Age-standardised rate of fatal work-related injury 6-7 Indicator 2: Age-standardised rate of serious non-fatal work-related injury 8 Indicator 3: The rate of work-related injury resulting in more than a week away from work 9 How do we compare to Australia? 110 Comparison of work-related fatality rates 11 Comparison of serious work-related injury claim rates What is being done to achieve the target? Appendix Further information 16 Appendix 1: Table of results 17 Appendix 2: Technical Report Appendix 3: Comparison with Australia

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5 Progress at a glance The Government s target is to reduce work-related fatalities and serious injury by at least 10 per cent by 2016 and 25 per cent by It s too early to say whether New Zealand is on track to meet the target, however the latest data indicate that fatality and serious injury rates are decreasing. A sustained effort by everyone is required to keep rates falling. Rate of fatal work-related injury (three year moving average) Latest result: 2011 (average for ) Change from previous year: 11 per cent lower Change from baseline: 29 per cent higher Comment: Rates have been higher in recent years following the 2010 Pike River Coal Mine Tragedy and the 2011 Canterbury earthquake. Data: WorkSafe New Zealand investigations and Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) claims Rate of serious non-fatal work-related injury Latest result: 2012 Change from previous year: 2 per cent lower Change from baseline: < 1 per cent lower Comment: Serious non-fatal injury rates have been trending downwards. Data: ACC claims and hospitalisations Rate of work-related injury resulting in more than a week away from work Latest result: 2012 Change from previous year: 2 per cent lower Change from baseline: 8 per cent lower Comment: Rates have been trending downwards. Data: ACC claims AGE-STANDARDISED RATE PER 100,000 PERSON YEARS RATE PER 1,000 FTEs AGE-STANDARDISED RATE PER 100,000 PERSON YEARS Rate Targets (2016, 2020) Estimated rate to 2013 Provisional rate Baseline Rate Targets (2016, 2020) Baseline Rate per 1,000 FTEs Targets (2016, 2020) Baseline Provisional rate per 1,000 FTEs PAGE 6-7 PAGE 8 PAGE 9 3

6 Changing the way we manage health and safety at work We call for an urgent, sustainable step-change in harm prevention activity and a dramatic improvement in outcomes to the point where this country s workplace health and safety performance is recognised among the best in the world in 10 years time. The changes recommended by the Commission rest firmly on the principle that health and safety in New Zealand can be improved only by the combined efforts of government, employers and workers. Report of the Royal Commission on the Pike River Coal Mine Tragedy (October 2012) Report of the Independent Taskforce on Workplace Health and Safety, (April 2013) 4

7 INTRODUCTION In 2012, the Government set a target for reducing fatalities and serious injury by at least 25 per cent by The interim target is a reduction of at least 10 per cent by This report describes the targets and reports on the first year of data for monitoring progress towards the targets. THE INDICATORS The target is measured using three indicators. 1. The age-standardised rate of fatal work-related injury 2. The age-standardised rate of serious non-fatal work-related injury 3. The rate of work-related injury with more than a week away from work The first two indicators are the work-related serious injury outcome indicators. 1 These are published annually by Statistics New Zealand. They are the official measures of injury trends in New Zealand. The third indicator is based on Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) claims data. It is less robust for measuring injury trends than the official indicators, but is timelier and represents a much broader definition of what constitutes serious injury. These indicators are used as a proxy for measuring the risk of injury. However a decrease in the indicators does not necessarily mean the risk of injury has decreased. For example, if there is a five per cent risk of injury and 100 workers per year are exposed to that risk, we would expect to observe an average of five workers being injured each year. However because it is a risk rather than a certainty, the number of workers injured in a particular year can be expected to fluctuate around this average. Statistical significance is used to decide whether a decrease in the indicators is likely to represent a decrease in the risk of injury. STATISTICAL SIGNIFICANCE A change in the number of people injured is said to be statistically significant if there is reasonable confidence that it represents a change in the underlying risk of injury. Statistical significance is based on confidence intervals, which define how much we might expect the indicator to vary at a given level of risk. If a change in the indicator is outside the confidence interval we conclude that the change is statistically significant. A 95 per cent confidence interval is used to determine statistical significance. This defines the range of values we might expect to see, 95 times in 100, if there has been no change to the underlying risk. If the number of people injured is within this range, we say that the difference is not statistically significant. If it is outside of that range, it means we are reasonably confident it represents a change in the underlying risk of injury, so we conclude that the change is statistically significant. For most injury priority areas, fluctuations around the average are small compared with the overall numbers of injuries and deaths, so the trends are still clear. However, since there are fewer than 100 work-related fatalities each year, such fluctuations (or noise ) may hide trends in the numbers and rates of fatality. To overcome this effect, a three-year moving average is used. This means, for example, that data from 2010, 2011, and 2012 are used to estimate an indicator value for This report presents the results for each indicator and compares work-related injury rates in New Zealand to rates in Australia. A summary table of the results for all three indicators is in Appendix 1. Technical information about the monitoring progress towards the targets is in Appendix 2. Technical information about the comparison with Australia is in Appendix

8 Indicator 1: Age-standardised rate of fatal work-related injury Direction of change: Decreased The rate of fatal work-related injury fell 11 per cent between 2010 and 2011, from 4.0 per 100,000 workers in 2010 to 3.5 per 100,000 workers in 2011 (see Figure 1). While the change is in the right direction, the difference is not statistically significant. An average of 83.3 workers died from workrelated injury between 2010 and 2012 ( 2011 ), compared to 91.0 between 2009 and 2011 ( 2010 ). Figure 1: Rate of serious fatal work-related injury AGE-STANDARDISED RATE PER 100,000 PERSON YEARS Rate Targets (2016, 2020) Estimated rate to 2013 Provisional rate Baseline Source: Statistics New Zealand (2013) Serious Injury Outcome Indicators: Fatal work-related injury rates were falling between 2002 and The increase in rates in 2009 (average for 2008 to 2010) and 2010 (average for 2009 to 2011) reflect the 2010 Pike River Coal Mine Tragedy (29 work-related fatalities) and the 2011 Canterbury earthquake (59 work-related fatalities). If all else remains the same, and there are no other catastrophic events, it is expected that rates will fall in 2012 and 2013 as the three year moving average moves away from these two events. 6

9 Indicator 1: Age-standardised rate of fatal work-related injury A three year average is used for the baselines. This reduces the chance that the baseline year has an unusually high or low rate. The baseline uses the most recent final data available at the time the targets were set. In the case of the fatal work-related indicator, the baseline is the average rate for 2008 to Fatalities from the Pike River Coal Mine Tragedy, a catastrophic event (low frequency, high impact), have been excluded from the baseline in order to better capture the underlying trend in annual fatality rates. 2 However they are included in the rate. As a result, the rates for 2009, 2010 and 2011 were all above the baseline (see Table 1). Table 1: Age-standardised rate of fatal work-related injury (per 100,000 person years at risk) 2016 target 2020 target 2009 (avg ) 2010 (avg ) 2011 (avg ) Rate Change from baseline (Baseline Rate: 2.74) 10% lower 25% lower 17% higher* 45% higher* 29% higher* * Fatalities from the Pike River Coal Mine Tragedy, a catastrophic event, have been excluded from the baseline to better capture the underlying trend in annual fatality rates. However they are included in the rate. As a result, the rates for 2009, 2010 and 2011 were all above the baseline. 2 If catastrophic events were included in the baseline then it would be possible to achieve a 25 per cent reduction through the absence of a catastrophic event in subsequent years. However the absence of such an event in a year does not mean that the risk of this type of event occurring has been eliminated. 7

10 Indicator 2: Age-standardised rate of serious non-fatal work-related injury Direction of change: Decreased The rate of serious non-fatal work-related injury fell from 16.4 workers per 100,000 workers in 2011 to 16.0 per 100,000 in 2012 (Figure 2). This is two per cent lower than last year, however the change is not statistically significant. Approximately 385 workers were seriously injured in 2012, compared to 384 in This increase in the number of workers seriously injured means that the decrease in rates was driven by an increase in the age-standardised worker population. Figure 2: Rate of serious non-fatal work-related injury AGE - STANDARDISED RATE PER 100,000 PERSON YEARS Rate Provisional rate Targets (2016, 2020) Baseline Source: Statistics New Zealand (2013) Serious Injury Outcome Indicators: The baseline uses the most recent three years of final data available at the time the targets were set. In the case of the serious non-fatal work-related indicator, the baseline is the average rate for 2008 to Table 2 displays the rates and difference from the target baseline. In 2011 rates were two per cent higher than the baseline, in 2012 this fell to less than one per cent below the baseline. Table 2: Rate of serious non-fatal work-related injury (per 100,000 person years at risk) 2016 target 2020 target Rate Change from baseline (Baseline rate: 16.09) 10% lower 25% lower 4% lower 2% higher < 1 % lower 8

11 Indicator 3: The rate of work-related injury resulting in more than a week away from work Direction of change: Decreased The rate of work-related injury resulting in more than a week away from work fell two per cent from 7.9 per 1,000 full-time-equivalents (FTEs) in 2011 to 7.7 in The rate has been falling since 2003 (see Figure 3). The steep decrease in the claims rate in 2009 and 2010 may be partially owing to the economic recession. 3 The rate continued to fall in 2012 though at a slower pace. In 2012 there were 15,200 work-related injuries resulting in more than a week away from work, down from 15,500 in Figure 3: Work-related injury with more than a week away from work RATE PER 1,000 FTEs Rate per 1,000 FTEs Targets (2016, 2020) Provisional rate per 1,000 FTEs Baseline Source: ACC claims (occupational disease excluded) The baseline uses the most recent three years of final data available at the time the targets were set. The baseline for this indicator is the average rate for 2009 to Table 3 displays the rates and difference from the target baseline. The injury rate in 2012 is 8 per cent lower than the baseline. Table 3: Rate of work-related injuries resulting in more than a week away from work (per 1,000 FTEs) 2016 target 2020 target Rate Change from baseline (Baseline rate: 8.41) 10% lower 25% lower 3% lower 6% lower 8% lower 3 9

12 Diagram 2: Our response How do we compare to Australia? The New Zealand injury indicators reported in the previous section, are not directly comparable to the Australia indicators. The New Zealand data in this section has been calculated differently to improve comparability with Australia. For example, the rates are not age-standardised. Appendix 3 contains information about the differences. 10

13 HOW DO WE COMPARE TO AUSTRALIA? The New Zealand injury indicators are not directly comparable to the Australia indicators. The New Zealand data in this section has been calculated differently to improve comparability with Australia. For example, the rates are not age-standardised. As such, the New Zealand numbers reported in this section are slightly different to those reported in the earlier section. Appendix 3 contains information about the differences. COMPARISON OF WORK-RELATED FATALITY RATES New Zealand s rate of work-related fatal injury is higher than Australia s. The gap was narrowing up until In 2008 Australia rates began to fall and New Zealand rates plateaued. In 2009, New Zealand rates were much higher than Australia. Even if the work-related fatalities from the 2010 Pike River Coal Mine Tragedy and the 2011 Canterbury earthquake are excluded ( New Zealand, excluding major disasters ), Australia performs better than New Zealand (see Figure 4). Figure 4: Work-related fatal injury rate of workers, including road traffic accidents (three year moving average) Rate per 100,000 workers Australia New Zealand New Zealand, excluding major disasters Source: New Zealand: ACC claims and WorkSafe New Zealand notifications (numerator); Statistics New Zealand Household Labour Force Survey (denominator). Australia: Safe Work Australia (2013) Work-Related Traumatic Injury Fatalities Australia 2012: Safe Work Australia, Canberra. Work-related road traffic accidents are a significant problem in Australia given the long distances travelled. When considering workplace health and safety in New Zealand, many of the reforms relate to workplaces rather than motor vehicles. Figure 5 compares fatality rates excluding road traffic accidents. Excluding road traffic accidents improves Australia s performance relative to New Zealand. More analysis would be required to better understand the reasons behind the different rates. 11

14 How do we compare to Australia? Figure 5: Work-related fatal injury rate of workers, excluding road traffic accidents (three year moving average) Rate per 100,000 workers Australia New Zealand, excluding major disasters New Zealand Source: New Zealand: ACC claims (numerator); Statistics New Zealand Household Labour Force Survey (denominator) Australia: Safe Work Australia (2013) Work-Related Traumatic Injury Fatalities Australia 2012: Safe Work Australia, Canberra. COMPARISON OF SERIOUS WORK-RELATED INJURY CLAIM RATES The Safe Work Australia Comparative Performance Monitoring Report contains comparative data on workplace health and safety in New Zealand and the Australian states. New Zealand data is adjusted to improve comparability with Australia. For example, self-employed are generally not covered by workers compensation in Australia so self-employed workers are removed from the New Zealand data. 4 The report includes comparisons of serious work-related claims. Serious claims are defined as all accepted workers compensation claims for temporary incapacity involving one or more week s compensation plus all claims for fatality and permanent incapacity. This includes claims for occupational disease and mental disorders. Claim rates are less reliable than the serious injury outcome indicators because they are more likely to be influenced by drivers other than injury rates. Changes to entitlement thresholds, approaches to return to work following injury and levels of awareness about entitlement can impact on claim rates while injury rates may be unchanged. Therefore this indicator should be used with caution. 4 For more information, see Safe Work Australia (2013) Comparative Performance Monitoring Report Safe Work. Australia, Canberra. 12

15 How do we compare to Australia? Claim rates have been falling in both New Zealand and Australia (see Figure 6). Rates in New Zealand have been lower than Australia since 2009/10. It is likely that at least part of this difference is because of differences in entitlement provisions. In particular, Australia has more generous entitlements for mental disorders than is the case in New Zealand. More analysis would be required to better understand the reasons behind the different rates. Figure 6: Serious work-related injury and disease claims by jurisdiction RATE PER 1,000 EMPLOYEES / / / / /12P New Zealand Australia Source: Safe Work Australia (2013, page 6 indicator 4) Comparative Performance Monitoring Report.: Safe Work Australia, Canberra. 13

16 What is being done to achieve the target? 14

17 WHAT IS BEING DONE TO ACHIEVE THE TARGET? The Government has announced the most significant reform of New Zealand s workplace health and safety system in 20 years. : a blueprint for health and safety at work is the Government s response to the recommendations of the Independent Taskforce on Workplace Health and Safety. The reform package is aimed at reducing New Zealand s workplace injury and death toll by at least 25 per cent by will require leadership and action from business, workers and Government to achieve this goal. This reform includes an overhaul of the law to provide clear, consistent guidelines and information for business, additional funding to strengthen enforcement and education with focus on high-risk areas, and better coordination between government agencies. The new Health and Safty at Work Act and the first phase of supporting regulations are expected to come into force by the 1st April We ve already made progress towards achieving a step-change in performance by setting up a stand-alone workplace health and safety Crown agent WorkSafe New Zealand. This agency will play the lead role in delivering on this major package of reform. We all need to do more and do it better to make sure we are protected from injury and death when we go to work each day. This is not a job for Government alone. Success requires Government, businesses and workers to work collaboratively to drive solutions. Good workplace health and safety drives better productivity, reliability and staff engagement. 5 Not only does good health and safety make good business sense, it s the right thing to do. For more information visit and 5 Department of Labour (2007) How health and safety makes good business sense. Department of Labour, Wellington. 15

18 Appendicies Appendix 1: Table of results Appendix 2: Technical Report Appendix 3: Comparison with Australia 16

19 Appendix 1: Table of results Target Indicators Baseline target 10% reduction 2020 target 25% reduction Age standardised rate of fatal work-related injury (per 100,000 person years at risk) ( average) Age standardised rate of serious non- fatal workrelated injury (per 100,000 person years at risk) ( average) Rate of ACC claims for more than a week away from work (per 1,000 FTEs) ( average) Note: The rate of fatal work-related injury uses a three year moving average that reports against the middle year e.g. the 2011 rate is the average for 2010 to Latest data is for 2012 (provisional). There is no rate for 2012 for fatal work-related injury because the three year average would require 2013 data (average for ). The rate for 2010 and 2011 includes the 29 deaths from the 2010 Pike River Coal Mine Tragedy. However these are excluded from the baseline. The rate for 2010 and 2011 includes 59 work-related deaths from the 2011 Canterbury earthquake. Source: 6 Statistics New Zealand (2013) Serious Injury Outcome Indicators: Statistics New Zealand, Wellington. 7 Accident Compensation Corporation; Statistics New Zealand. 17

20 Appendix 2: Technical Report TARGETS The target is to reduce work-related fatalities and serious injury by at least 25 per cent by The interim target is to reduce work-related fatalities and serious injury by at least 10 per cent by Although 2016 represents the midpoint, the interim target is less than half the final target. This is because some of the changes that are needed will take time to implement. This interim target is challenging but realistic. INDICATORS The target is measured using three indicators. 1. The age-standardised rate of fatal work-related injury 2. The age-standardised rate of serious non-fatal work-related injury 3. The rate of work-related injury resulting in more than a week away from work Measured using rates rather than counts The indicators are measured using rates rather than raw counts of fatalities and serious injuries. The rate divides the raw counts by the population at risk. Excludes occupational disease The target is for a reduction in injury, so occupational disease is excluded. Occupational disease is more difficult to monitor than injury. Options for a target in the area of occupational health will be considered as WorkSafe New Zealand develops a workplace health and safety strategy in DATA SOURCES The first two indicators are measured using the work-related serious injury outcome indicators. These are published annually by Statistics New Zealand. They are the official measure of injury trends in New Zealand. 8 The rate of fatal work-related injury: Combines data from Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) work-related fatal injury claims and WorkSafe New Zealand. 8 See the technical report for more information: serious-injury-outcome-indicators/2012/serious-injury-outcome-indicators-technical-report-2013.pdf 18

21 notifications for work-related fatalities. 9 The rate is age-standardised to adjust for any changes in the age distribution over time. The rate is taken directly from the Statistics New Zealand publication. It uses a three year moving average where reporting is against the middle year e.g. the 2010 rate is the average for 2009 to The rate of serious non-fatal work-related injury: Links data from ACC claims for work-related injury and hospitalisation data. Serious is defined as hospitalised injuries with a high chance of death. By defining serious this way, it reduces reporting bias by increasing the likelihood that people who are that seriously injured will have been admitted to hospital and made an ACC claim. If the threshold for measuring serious was lower, there is a risk that it is missing some people who were not admitted to hospital to treat their injury. The rate is age-standardised to adjust for any changes in the age distribution over time. The rate is taken directly from the Statistics New Zealand publication. The rate of work-related injury with more than a week away from work: ACC claims for compensation for loss of earnings due to work-related injury. This indicator is less robust for measuring injury trends than the official indicators, but is timelier and represents a much broader definition of what constitutes serious injury. The claims data is customised from the Statistics New Zealand work-related claims release. It is restricted to injury claims with weekly compensation payments greater than zero (occupational disease is excluded using the same method to exclude it as the serious injury outcome indicators). The denominator is Full Time Equivalents (FTEs), in line with rates reported in the work-related claims release. FTEs are estimated by counting full time employed as one FTE and part-time employed as half an FTE using annual December employment estimates from the Household Labour Force Survey. BASELINES A three year average is used for the baselines. This reduces the chance that the baseline year has an unusually high or low rate. The baseline used the most recent final data available at the time the targets were set. The table in Appendix 1 displays the baseline and target rates for the three indicators. The target rate is calculated by applying the percentage reduction to the non-rounded baseline number. If the target rate is calculated based on the rounded baseline rate, rounding errors become apparent. In this report the baseline rate has been rounded to two decimal places to reduce rounding errors for those reading the report. 9 The ACC claims data used here defines work-related as any claim in the ACC work account, any claim in the motor vehicle account or earners account with a work-related flag set to Y, and any claim with location farm by people with agriculture occupations (excluding non-earners and those involved in a sport or recreational activity). 19

22 Fatal injury baseline Since the fatal injury indicator is already based on a three year average, the baseline is the rate for 2009 (average of 2008 to 2010). The 29 deaths from the Pike River Coal Mine Tragedy in 2010 have been excluded from the fatality baseline (but included in the monitoring data) in order to better capture the underlying trend in annual fatality rates. Although the deaths at Pike River indicated broad and systemic failures it is not appropriate to monitor high hazard risk using annual injury rates. 10 Serious non-fatal injury baseline The baseline is the average rate for 2008 to More than a week away from work The baseline is the average rate for 2009 to 2011, which incorporates the recent period of lower rates. REPORTING The data for the indicators are published by Statistics New Zealand towards the end of each calendar year (for example, provisional data for 2012 were published on 27 November 2013). Information on progress towards the targets will be published annually. There is a time lag in the publication of final data for the indicators. This is approximately two years for the official indicators. The reason for this relates to the nature of injury. Although the date of the injury is usually known, it takes time to determine the cause and severity of injury, e.g. whether the injury was work-related. Provisional data for the official indicators is available with a one year time lag. Although less complete, provisional data is reported here because it is more timely. Where subsequent reports make corrections to data previously reported, this will be noted. 10 By definition, high hazard risk results in injury on a non-frequent basis. Therefore annual injury rates are not the best indicator of risk of a high hazard event occurring. 20

23 Appendix 3: Comparison with Australia COMPARISON OF FATAL WORK-RELATED INJURY RATES The New Zealand work-related serious injury outcome indicator for the number of fatalities is compared to the number of Australian fatalities from the Safe Work Australia report Work-Related Traumatic Injury Fatalities Australia Source of the Australian estimates Safe Work Australia publishes a number of different reports on work-related fatalities. There is an online fatalities count which is based on media reports, providing the most up-to-date data on work-related fatalities. There is a monthly report which is based on notifications to workplace health and safety enforcement agencies. There is an annual workers compensation report which provides information on fatalities where a workers compensation claim was accepted. The most comprehensive count of work-related injury fatalities in Australia is contained in the Work-Related Traumatic Injury Fatalities report. It triangulates data from workplace health and safety enforcement agencies, workers compensation claims, coroner s data and media reports. It is this data that we use for the comparison of fatality rates in New Zealand and Australia. The denominator used to calculate rates in the Work-Related Traumatic Injury Fatalities report is employment estimates using the Household Labour Force Survey plus defence force personnel. Table 15 in the 2012 Work-Related Traumatic Injury Fatalities report contains information on the rates of fatalities for all workers. A three-year moving average is applied for the purpose of the comparison in Figure 4. The comparison of rates excluding road traffic accidents (reported in Figure 5), is derived for Australia from the following tables in the 2012 Work-Related Traumatic Injury Fatalities report. Denominators are derived using the number of fatalities in Table 14 and the rates in Table 15. The number of work-related fatalities involving traffic incidents (from Table 6) is subtracted off the total number (from Table 14) and divided by the derived worker population. The denominator is not adjusted to exclude those whose primary occupation involves driving on public roads. The Work-Related Traumatic Injury Fatalities report contains annual estimates (rather than a moving average) because in Australia the numbers are greater than 100 which results in less variation in the numbers from year-to-year. In this report a three year moving average is applied to the Australian data to improve comparability with the New Zealand three-year moving-average. 11 workrelatedtraumaticinjuryfatalities 21

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