Injuries affect businesses in every industry, with many workers needing time off to recover, which can affect productivity. Some industries are more dangerous than others, with employees recording very high rates of time off work. Compensation rates for injured workers can also be costly for businesses.
According to SafeWork Australia, manufacturing and agriculture have the highest rates of absenteeism as a result of injuries. For every 1 million man hours worked in livestock farming, 31 worker compensation claims are made.
Meat and meat processing is also a high risk area. In this sector, 20 compensation claims are made per million hours worked – lower than livestock farming but still well above the average of 6.8. Food and beverage manufacturing also recorded a large number of claims (12 per million).
Other industries are much safer for workers. The mining sector recorded only 5 injuries in the same number of working hours, despite the many risks miners face.
These figures from SafeWork also suggest that injuries among Australian workers are decreasing. Since 2001, the rate of injuries in mining has dropped by half. Food and beverage manufacturing has also halved, down from a high of 23.8 back in 2001.
For employers and managers, the key to lowering these compensation rates further is getting the right equipment and processes in place to protect worker well-being. Safety signs and labels can help here, providing a visual reminder of the dangers workers face and the best practice they should be employing.
Preventing common incidents of worker strain is also important for companies that want to lower these figures further. Many workers are injured as a result of heavy lifting, which makes automatic scissor lifts and pallet tilters a good investment.
Lowering these high injury and compensation rates doesn’t have to be difficult and can ensure that businesses continue to lower the number of injuries among workers.