Higher injury rates for casual workers

Thursday, 02 August, 2012

A report released by Safe Work Australia has found that casual workers recorded a work-related injury rate 50% higher than non-casual workers in 2009-10, with females reporting a significantly higher rate of injuries per hour worked than males.

The report, ‘Australian work-related injury experience by sex and age, 2009-2010’, examines the work-related injury experience of male and female workers across different age groups. It provides data that can assist industry identify demographics where work health and safety can be improved.

In 2009-10, close to 640,000 workers reported they had suffered a work-related injury, which is close to triple the population of a city the size of Hobart. While males recorded a 19% fall in the number of injuries incurred at work since 2005-06, the number for females increased by 11%, indicating that more effort is needed to improve work health and safety for Australian workers.

Other key findings of the report include:

  • Casual workers (those without leave entitlements) reported 54 injuries per million hours worked compared with a rate of 35 for those with leave entitlements.
  • Working under shift arrangements or as a part-time worker was also associated with higher rates of injury. Half of all female workers worked part-time in 2009-10.
  • For each hour worked, females had a 28% higher risk of injury compared with male workers.
  • High rates of injury were experienced in the accommodation and food services industry. This industry has high levels of casual and part-time work.
  • The most common cause of injury across all age groups was sprain/strain.
  • Workers aged 15-24 recorded rates of injury substantially higher than other age groups.

The report can be viewed here.

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