Updated Safe Work Australia data confirms ACT is second least safe jurisdiction in Australia to work

The recently updated report by Safe Work Australia confirms that the ACT is the second least safe jurisdiction in Australia to work. The updated report was revised in July to update ABS data.

Rates of injury in the ACT during the most recent reporting period are at 11.3 serious claims per 1000 employees, compared to the Australian average of 9.8 serious claims.

In the same period, WorkSafe ACT recorded a decrease in the number of proactive (down 10 percent) and reactive (down 6 percent) workplace visits.

The ACT also recorded the largest decrease in the number of infringement notices issued in 2014-15 (down 70 percent), compared to the previous year.

Activity 2013-14 2014-15 Change
Number of infringement notices issued 43 13 -69.8%
Number of improvement notices issued 832 369 -55.6%
Number of prohibition notices issued 195 133 -31.8%
Number of workplace visits (proactive) 490 442 -9.8%
Number of workplace visits (reactive) 2384 2247 -5.7%
Source: Safe Work Australia Comparative Performance Monitoring 18th Edition, updated

On an industry basis, the ACT continues to show some of the worst workplace injury rates in Australia.

Serious incidence rates by industry 2014-15

For example, in the construction sector, the number of serious claims has increased from 21.8 serious claims per 1000 employees to 22.6. There have also been dramatic increases in a range of other industries.

The following quotes are attributable to Alex White, secretary of UnionsACT:

“Several months ago, this Safe Work Australia report was withdrawn due to ABS data errors. At that time, some in the business sector claimed that work safety was not getting worse.

“The report has been re-released today and it confirms that in too many industries, safety is getting worse.

“The ACT is the second least safe jurisdiction in Australia, and the worst in Australia for construction, retail, financial services, education, healthcare, and arts.

“In the same period, Work Safe ACT significantly reduced the number of compliance and enforcement activities it undertook.

“We need Work Safe ACT focused on enforcing workplace safety laws, and holding unscrupulous, unsafe employers to account.

“Unions treat workplace safety as our number-one issue – and that’s why union officials conduct safety visits at workplaces and construction sites.

“Sadly, some big business groups continue to falsely claim that union concerns over safety are a ‘myth’.

“How many more serious injuries and workplace fatalities does Canberra need before safety is treated seriously?”

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