The ninth annual Comparative Performance Monitoring (CPM) report on Australia’s OHS and workers compensation outcomes was recently endorsed by the Workplace Relations Ministers’ Council (WRMC) 2008.
The CPM project is a cooperative effort involving the Australian government, all state and territory governments and New Zealand. OHS and workers compensation are primarily the responsibility of the state and territory governments in Australia.
The ninth CPM report contains 25 indicators that provide a range of information designed to help gauge the success of different approaches undertaken by the various workers compensation and OHS authorities to reduce the incidence of work-related injury and disease.
Highlights from this report include:
- The incidence of work-related injury and musculoskeletal disorders has decreased 13% since the National OHS Strategy 2002–2012 was introduced. This is, however, below the rate of improvement required to meet the 40% reduction target by 2011–2012.
- The preliminary workers compensation claims data for 2005–06 indicate the incidence of serious injury and disease is 15.6 claims per 1000 employees.
- The incidence of fatality from work-related injury and musculoskeletal disorders has decreased 8% since the National OHS Strategy 2002–2012 was introduced. This is considered ‘on target’ to achieve the 20% reduction required by 2011–2012.
- There were 231 compensated fatalities recorded in Australia for 2005–06, of which 184 were from injury and musculoskeletal disorders and 47 were from other diseases. It is expected, however, that these numbers will increase when all claims are processed.
- Body stressing has continued to be the mechanism of injury/disease which accounted for the greatest proportion of claims at 42%. Claims for mental stress recorded the greatest percentage increase of all mechanism groups 12% over the period from 2001–02 to 2004–05.
- The manufacturing industry recorded the highest incidence rates at 28.6 claims per 1000 employees followed by the transport and storage industry 28.3, the agriculture, forestry and fishing industry 25.9 and the construction industry 25.3.
- In 2005–06, over 114,000 inspections of workplaces were undertaken around Australia with 67,200 notices issued, over 900 prosecutions commenced and almost $23 million in fines handed out by the courts.
- In 2005–06, Australian workers compensation schemes expended more than $5.7 billion, of which 52% was paid direct to injured workers in compensation for their injury or illness.
- The durable return-to-work rate has continued to increase, with 80% of workers injured in 2005–06 successfully returning to work within eight to 10 months of their injury.
- Average Australian premium rates have fallen 9% from 2004–05 to 2005–06.
- Stronger investment performances have contributed to the rise of the average Australian funding ratio to more than 100% for the first time since the CPM began compiling data.
The statistical data contained in the report has been standardised to enable more direct comparison across the jurisdictions than could be obtained by individually accessing annual reports.
The complete CPM report can be downloaded from www.workplace.gov.au/cpm.
Workplace Relations Ministers Council