16th December, 2014

Injuries common for shift workers

Recent data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has detailed just how prevalent injuries are, with shift workers among the most at-risk groups.

The study found that nearly a third of all workplace injuries occurred among shift workers, making this one of the most dangerous arrangements for employees.

These figures also serve as a reminder to businesses that employ shift workers that they need to have workers compensation insurance in place. Having this cover in place will be essential for any company trying to ensure workers have the right level of support following an injury.

By industry, manufacturing saw the most accidents of any industry across Australia, with an injury rate of 82 per 1,000 workers. Other high-risk areas included transport, postal and warehousing and the agricultural sector which saw worker injury rates of 76 per 1,000 and 72 per 1,000 respectively.

At the other end of the spectrum were jobs in finance and insurance services, which saw only 18 per 1,000 workers.

The most common causes of these injuries was from lifting, pushing or pulling large objects, with these accounting for 34 per cent of all the accidents the study followed. Other causes included from being hit or cut by a vehicle, which made up 13 per cent of the recorded injuries.

By age group, it was older workers and very new workers who saw the highest rates of injury. Those in the 50 to 54 age group saw an injury rate of 52 per 1,000, the largest of any group. Those in the 15-19 bracket also saw a high rate, recording 50 injuries per 1,000 workers.

With over half a million injuries tracked in the figures from the ABS, there are clearly areas where businesses can improve if they want to reduce the losses they experience from injuries. Having proper training in place and backing this up with comprehensive workers compensation insurance is going to be essential for organisations looking to keep staff safe.

Author: Murray Bruce