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Males Have Three-quarters of Work-related Injuries

Males Have Three-quarters of Work-related Injuries

Males accounted for three-quarters of work-related injuries, according to Injury Statistics 2001/2002: Work-related Injuries, a new report released today by Statistics New Zealand.

Seventy-four percent of work-related injuries happened to males, who had a much higher rate of injury than females. The incidence rate for females was 87 injuries per 1,000 full-time equivalent employees (FTEs), whereas for males it was 180 per 1,000.

The report, the first in a new annual series about injuries, shows that there were 229,489 work-related injuries in the year to June 2002, an increase of 0.7 percent over the previous year.

These results come from claims filed with the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC).

Those who were self-employed had an incidence rate of 246 injuries per 1,000 FTEs, which was nearly double the rate of 127 per 1,000 for employees. The mining industry had the highest injury rate of any industry, with 279 injuries per 1,000 FTEs. This was more than 10 times the rate for the finance and insurance industry, with 27 per 1,000. The Auckland region had 26 percent of all work-related injuries, but it was Northland that had the highest rate, at 195 injuries per 1,000 FTEs.

Falling, tripping or slipping were the most common mechanisms of injury, making up 39 percent of all work-related injuries. More than half of the injuries were either sprains and strains (39 percent) or open wounds (16 percent). More injuries affected the hand and wrist (19 percent of the total) than any other part of the body.

Ten percent of work-related injuries were serious enough for the worker to take more than five days off work, and thus receive weekly compensation from the ACC. For 98 percent of work-related injuries, the worker was back at work by the end of six months.

The average cost per injury was $565, with the cost for males ($600) higher than that for females ($460). Injured female workers received lower average payments than males for every type of treatment and payment, except for childcare payments. Work-related injuries that happened in 2001/02 had cost the ACC $129.3 million by 30 September 2002. Weekly compensation payments took 55 percent of this ($70.6 million), and medical treatment and other services took 38 percent ($49.8 million).

Work-related injuries that occurred in the previous year had cost $123.6 million by the end of September 2001. However, after another year, that is, by 30 September 2002, the cost had risen to $179.3 million.

The report can be found on the Statistics New Zealand website, and will be available soon in hard copy. Detailed statistical tables giving more information about characteristics such as the occupation and industry of injured workers are also available on the website.

Brian Pink

Government Statistician

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