Queensland Economic Advocacy Solutions

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Each workplace accident statistic represents a life changed forever

Amid the chaos and circus of last week’s Liberal leadership spill in Canberra, Safe Work Australia released its ‘Key Work Health and Safety Statistics Australia 2018’.

These statistics detail national work-related injuries, diseases and fatalities and offer a timely reminder of the importance of workplace health and safety. QEAS supports a workplace health and safety culture in Queensland workplaces where every person in the workplace has a safe place of work. Government, employers and employees all have a collective responsibility to ensure that workplaces are healthy and safe.

Looking at the trends and industry breakdowns is sobering, and every number in the publication represents a life changed forever.  Whilst there is a 47 per cent decrease in the national workplace fatality rate since 2007, there were still 191 workplace fatalities in 2016-17 and every worker fatality is one too many.

An individual life is precious and in reality no monetary value can be placed on the life of an identifiable individual. Nonetheless, economists have estimated the value of a statistical life, based on the lost economic value of an average individual who dies prematurely. The Australian Government suggests the current estimate of a statistical life in Australia is $4.5 million and the value of a statistical life year is around $195,000. Similarly non-fatal injuries also have an economic value attached to them. 

The cost of annual work related injuries and diseases in Australia is estimated at a shocking $61.8 billion or approximately 4.1 per cent of GDP. Similarly the cost of work related injuries and diseases in Queensland is approximately $14.6 billion or 4.5 per cent of our GSP.

Understanding the work-related injury, disease and fatality statistics can help reduce work-related fatalities, injury, illness and disease.  They are well worth taking a look at. 

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