Work-related injuries on the decline in Australia

Published 28 Nov 2014

Australian workplaces are becoming safer, with a reduction in employee injuries and illnesses recorded across the country.

Recent data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) showed fewer people are suffering accidents while on the job, as the injury rate sinks over 2 percentage points from 6.4 to 4.3 per cent.

When an individual is seriously injured, whether inside or outside the workplace, there can be significant ramifications for their short- and long-term employment prospects.

This is why many people opt to take out income protection insurance, enabling them to make a claim if they are unable to work for a substantial period of time following an injury or sickness.

While income protection is particularly important for those working in hazardous industries, adequate cover can provide peace of mind for employees across any sector.

The ABS' Stephen Collett said manufacturing and construction remain the sectors where injuries are most prevalent. He added that men have a higher rate of workplace accidents than women because of the gender balance in these industries.

"For women, the largest number of injuries occurred in the health care and social assistance industry, and in the accommodation and food services industry," he explained.

Making a compensation claim

Some injuries are more common than others, with sprains and strains the likeliest ailment reported by respondents. One-third of people complained of these issues, while 20 per cent suffered joint or muscle problems.

Mr Collett said: "Injuries most commonly occur when lifting, pushing, pulling or bending; or by hitting or being hit by an object."

Approximately 60 per cent of people who took time away from the workplace received financial assistance because of their injury or illness. Of these, more than 50 per cent obtained workers' compensation.

However, Mr Collett said the majority of employees who experienced an accident or became ill did not take much time - if any - away from their job.

"Most people who experienced a work-related injury or illness took less than five days off work and about 40 per cent took no time off at all," he added.

If you have suffered an accident in the workplace, you could be eligible for compensation through an income protection policy. This means you may receive a payout from your retirement fund if you launch a successful superannuation dispute claim.

Contact a specialist no-win, no-fees legal team today to see whether or not your case is likely to be successful.

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