13.4 million people worked in the 2017-18 period, 4.2% of them got injured. Oh No! How did it happen? What industry were they working in? What was the most common type of injury sustained? Get your calculators out,  we’re about to dive deep into the stats (NB no calculators required). 

Over half of those injured were blokes (54.5%). It was the 50-54 year old age group who were injured the most (58 people injured per 1000 people), followed closely by the 20-24 year old age group with 55 people per 1000 injuring themselves… will those kids EVER learn?!

The entire month of August has been dedicated to Tradies and their health. This is because in 2017-18 they made up the largest portion of the stats when it comes to workplace injuries.

306,800 Males and 256,800 Females experienced a work-related injury or illness in the last 12 months.

Take a look at Graph 1.1 below to see the distribution of injured workers. This shows the overall numbers in addition to showing the split between male and female within each occupation. See if you can find where you would fit in and how the numbers stack up in your occupation compared to those in other occupations. 

What this table clearly shows is that male trade workers, technicians and labourers were among those making up the numbers for most injured people in the 2017-18 period. This is certainly no surprise when it comes to what presents to the Osteo clinic. 

For the females, those working as community and personal service workers were the most injured. This was followed closely by professional workers – these workers are classified as people who have had particular training in a specialty. Again, these stats are no surprise.

NB: Community and Personal Service Workers provide a wide range of services in areas including aged and disability care, health and social welfare, child care, hospitality, policing, tourism and sports.

Graph 1.1 – Share of people who experienced a work-related injury or illness, By occupation groups and sex

Graph 2: Share of people who experienced a work-related injury or illness, By occupation groups and sex

THE MOST COMMON TYPES OF INJURIES SUSTAINED:

  • Sprain/strain was the most common injury sustained (28%)
  • Chronic joint or muscle conditions (18%) 
  • Cut/open wound (16%)

In 2017-18, 

  • Lifting, pushing, pulling or bending was still the most common way people experienced their work related injury or illness (24%)
  • Hitting or being hit or cut by an object or vehicle (18%) 
  • Fall on same level (including slip or fall) (15%) 

Working in private practice as an Osteopath, it is no surprise that lifting, pushing, pulling or bending is the most common method for injury to occur. What IS surprising is the low number of reported injuries related to prolonged sitting or working in a cramped or unchanging position. 

People are constantly presenting to the clinic complaining of pain or discomfort related to the long hours of sitting behind a desk. The reason for such low reported numbers may be due to the fact that people don’t associate this pain as ‘being injured’. Therefore they take it upon themselves to seek help, rather than reporting it to the appropriate person within the workplace. 

Seeing the high numbers of injury related to lifting, pushing, pulling or bending reiterates just how important it is to educate on exactly how to do these movements in the most efficient way to both get the task done AND without injury.

Graph 1.2 – Share of people who experienced a work-related injury or illness, By How most recent work-related injury or illness occurred

Graph 3: Share of people who experienced a work-related injury or illness, By How most recent work-related injury or illness occurred

REFERENCE:

https://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/[email protected]/mf/6324.0