Occupational injury statistics An example of official statistics at home and abroad

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1 Exeter Initiative for Statistics and its Applications (ExIStA) Kay Building, University of Exeter, 29 February 2012 Occupational injury statistics An example of official statistics at home and abroad Peter Wingfield-Digby Independent statistical consultant 1

2 1837 General Register Office (GRO) A brief history of UK official statistics 1941 (Wartime) Central Statistical Social Survey Office (CSO) and govt depts 1967 Government Social Survey 1969 Business Statistics 1970 Office of Population Censuses and Surveys (OPCS) Office (BSO) 1989 Expanded CSO 1996 Office for National Statistics (ONS) 2

3 National statistics recent developments Monitoring and reporting on all government statistics 2000 Statistics Commission - Limited functions. Reported to Treasury National Statistics seal of approval (Quality mark) 2007 Statistics and Registration Service Act 2008 Statistics Authority Independent. Accountable to Parliament (i) Oversight of ONS (ii) Scrutiny of all official statistics Recent Chair Sir Michael Scholar. New Chair Andrew Dilnot 2008 Registration function (BMD) moved to IPS, Home Office National Statisticians / Head of government statistical service Karen Dunnell Jil Matheson 3

4 Occupational injury Statistics International perspective Principal data sources in the past: 1. Administrative records of compensations schemes 2. Systems for notifying occupational injuries to labour inspectorates Major problems: Low coverage; Under-reporting of injuries Data quality is a problem in both developed and developing countries A study in the UK some time ago (1980s?) found that: For paid employees: only 1 in 3 injuries were reported For the self-employed: only 1 in 5 injuries were reported 4

5 Scale of the problem worldwide The ILO estimated (around 1998) that each year: 300,000 workers die as a result of accidents at work 250 million workers are injured badly enough to have to take time off work International action 16th International Conference of Labour Statisticians, 1998 Resolution concerning statistics of occupational injuries resulting from occupational accidents Provides guidance on what data should be collected Also requested the International Labour Organization (ILO) to prepare a manual giving technical guidance on the contents of the resolution, and on how to collect relevant data through household surveys and establishment surveys 5

6 ILO project on occupational injuries I was the outside consultant, assisting the occupational injury statistics specialist in the ILO Bureau of Statistics Helped to design two questionnaire modules: (i) labour force surveys, (ii) establishment surveys 3 countries tested them out: Jamaica, Nigeria, Philippines Helped analyse the results, then had a workshop in Geneva. Then we prepared the manual Timeline th International Conference of Labour Statisticians 1999 Preparatory work and pilot conducted 2003 Workshop held in Geneva 2008 Handbook published 6

7 Can be downloaded from: Publications/WCMS_173153/ lang--en/index.htm 7

8 Key indicators There are four key indicators for reporting occupational injury statistics, as recommended by the 16 th ICLS Measure Relates To (numerator) (denominator) Frequency rate Cases of injury Million hours worked Incidence rate Cases of injury Thousand workers Severity rate Days lost Million hours worked Average days lost Days lost Cases of injury 8

9 Relationship between the four indicators (simplified diagram) All workers (Average hours worked) Total hours worked Incidence rate Severity rate Cases of injury Mean days lost Days lost In practice we would normally distinguish between fatal and non-fatal injuries. Frequency and incidence rates would be calculated separately for each group. Severity rates and mean days lost would be calculated only for non-fatal injuries. 9

10 Example: Liberia LFS 2010 Note: The LFS will probably already have included questions on age, sex, activities over 12 months, hours of work in each activity, etc. If the module is attached to a labour force survey, only a few extra questions are required. Additional questions: Whether ever had an occupational accident Whether any occupational accident in the last 12 months Job in which working at the time of the accident Whether the accident caused absence from work for at least one day How many calendar days were lost from work (or will be lost) Main results for Liberia: In 2009, 70,000 males and 43,000 females suffered occupational injuries. Average days lost 14 days. Total lost time = 1½ million days. 10

11 11

12 Collecting data on occupational injuries Situation in the UK First source: RIDDOR Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 1995 System changed in September Previously, reporting was by telephone, or by web submission Now, online web submission is required. But telephone reporting is still OK for reporting fatal or major injuries. Full guidance is given on the website about what and how to report. 12

13 Occupational injury statistics in the UK (cont.) Second source: Data collected from national Labour Force Survey Workplace injury survey module is attached to LFS See History: 1990 Module was first included From 1992/93 Limited question set included annually From 1998/99 Broadly consistent time series available The LFS gives annual estimates of the levels of workplace injury by a range of demographic and employment-related variables. 13

14 UK Occupational Injury Statistics Source 2009/ /11 Fatal injuries RIDDOR Reportable non-fatal LFS 231, ,000 injuries (over 3 days) Estimated days lost LFS 5.1 million 4.4 million Reported non-fatal injuries RIDDOR 124, ,469 (major, and over 3 days) Self-reported results suggest that around half of (LFS) reportable non-fatal injuries (> 3-day absence) are recorded under RIDDOR HSE Statistics 2010/11, page 9 Thank you! 14

15 Annex 1 Some key characteristics of UK occupational injuries Occupation is the biggest influence on the risk of a workplace injury New workers are at higher risk of injury than established workers Shift workers and part-time workers are at higher risk of workplace injury Around half of the reduction in injury rates between 1986 and 2004 can be attributed to changes in the occupational mix of the British workforce over that period The business cycle affects injury rates (increases in GDP lead to increased injury rates, and vice versa) Source: 15

16 Annex 2 Occupational injury statistics in the UK Topics covered in the LFS: ACCDNT Accident at work resulting in injury NUMACC No. of accidents in last 12 months ROAD Whether it was a road accident WchJb Which job (details of job already collected in LFS) GOBACK How soon back to work (still off work, 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5+ days) TIMEDAYS Days off work (if 5 or more) TYPINJ Type of injury SITEFR If injury involved fracture/break: Part of body injured SITEDI If injury involved fracture/break: Which bones fractured SIGHT If injury involved loss of sight: Permanent or temporary SIGHTL If injury involved loss of sight: How long impaired ACCURH Whether experienced loss of consciousness, hypothermia, etc. UNCONC If lost consciousness: How long for ACCKIND Mode of injury how accident happened 16

17 Annex 3 A brief history of UK official statistics - Management of national statistics office Directors of CSO/ONS Events / (Background) 1941 Harry Campion Setting up a new organization 1967 Claus Moser (Prof of Social Stats, LSE) Expansion 1978 John Boreham Rayner Review (1980) led to contraction 1985 Jack Hibbert Merger with BSO etc. increased functions 1992 Bill McLennan (Australia) 1995 Tim Holt (Prof of Social Stats, Southampton) 2000 Len Cook (NZ) 2005 Karen Dunnell (Ex- Social Survey) 2009 Jil Matheson (Ex- Social Survey) 17

18 Annex 4 Useful websites to check out Office for National Statistics UK Statistics Authority Publication hub for government statistics Public Administration Select Committee More or Less Radio 4 programmes Joy of Statistics TV programme Explore the world Royal Statistical Society RSS 10-year numbers campaign Demonstrates practical use of statistics Health and Safety Executive International Labour Organization 18

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