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WA high on national workplace injuries list

NEARLY 55,000 Western Australians suffered from workplace-related injuries or illnesses in the year ending September 2000, according to figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

In a national report, WA’s injury and illness rate was recorded at 55.9 persons per thousand people, well above those recorded in Victoria and New South Wales.

Victoria had a rate of 41.8 and NSW was slightly higher on 45.

The report found that almost twice as many males were injured at work as females and that nationally, the manufacturing industry was the worst for workplace-related injuries or illnesses, with a total of 85,900 workers experiencing an injury or illness.

These figures are supported by those recorded by WorkSafe WA in the 1999-2000 annual report, which shows there are 47.4 work hours lost per million as a result of lost-time injury or illness.

Manufacturing is followed by construction, agriculture and transport and storage as those industries with the most frequent injuries.

The age group with the highest rate was the 35-44 year old group followed by the 25-34 year olds and 45-54 year olds.

Workplace injuries have become one of the biggest costs for businesses. It is not only the time lost due to the injury but also the costs arising from workers’ compensation insurance premiums.

Most insurers now look more closely at a client’s workers’ compensation claims history when assessing their new premium.

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