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Three Industries Dominate Work-Related Injuries

Embargoed until 10:45am – 31 October 2006

Three Industries Dominate Work-Related Injuries

Provisional figures released today by Statistics New Zealand show that the annual rate of work-related injuries has remained stable over the last four years. Figures for 2005 reveal a rate of around 132 claims per 1,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) workers. These statistics are derived from Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) claims.

Around 40 percent of work-related injuries are accounted for by three industry groups: agriculture, forestry and fishing; manufacturing; and construction, with respective injury rates of 190, 169 and 167 per 1,000 FTEs. These groups represent around 30 percent of all workers. Mining, a relatively small industry with only approximately 5,400 workers, was the only group with a higher injury rate, at 198 per 1,000 FTEs.

The agriculture, forestry and fishing; manufacturing; and construction industries were also linked to the majority of serious injuries, those requiring weekly compensation or rehabilitation payments. The latest figures also show that over half of all fatal injury claims were associated with these industries.

ACC accepted 242,600 claims for work-related injuries that occurred in 2005 (as at 31 March 2006), made by 214,000 workers, as well as 86 claims for fatal injury. Males accounted for almost three-quarters of all claims (74 percent).

Workers in the elementary occupations group, which includes labourers, cleaners, freight handlers and refuse collectors, had the highest rate of work-related injuries, with 287 claims per 1,000 FTEs. This was followed by agriculture and fisheries workers (265 per 1,000 FTEs), and plant and machine operators and assemblers, which includes meat and fish processing operators, heavy truck drivers, and building and related workers (245 per 1,000 FTEs). In contrast, the clerks occupation group recorded the fewest claims, with 45 claims per 1,000 FTEs.

By region, the highest incidence rates occurred in the Bay of Plenty, with rates of 197 claims per 1,000 FTEs. The lowest rate (74 claims per 1,000 FTEs) occurred in the Wellington region.

Brian Pink
Government Statistician

ENDS

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