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					National OHS Strategy 2002–2012

Priority Industries

The National OHS Strategy provides the framework for collective efforts to improve Australia’s OHS performance. The Strategy sets national targets to reduce the incidence of workplace injury (including musculoskeletal disorders) by at least 20% by 30 June 2007 and 40% by 30 June 2012.

Under the Strategy, a number of industries have been selected to receive priority attention. These industries were selected based on a combination of high incidence rates and high employment. The Priority industries are Agriculture, forestry and fishing, Manufacturing, Construction, Transport and storage, and Health and community services. The Other manufacturing sub-division, however, recorded a very large increase of 30% in incidence rates. This sector manufactures goods such as prefabricated building materials, furniture, jewellery, toys and sporting goods. Small rises in incidence rates were also recorded in the Petroleum, coal, chemical and associated product (4%) and Non-metallic mineral product (7%) sub-divisions.

Together the priority industries account for 35% of all employees but 55% of all serious injury claims. Serious injury claims are those resulting in an injury or musculoskeletal disorder, and includes fatalities, claims for permanent incapacity, and claims for which one or more weeks of time lost from work has been recorded. While the incidence rate of all serious claims has fallen 16% since the Strategy began, the Construction and Transport and storage industries have recorded the greatest percentage improvement (23% and 21% respectively). Disappointingly, the Manufacturing industry has only recorded a 6% fall in incidence rates and the Agriculture, forestry and fishing industry a 10% fall. The Health and community services industry recorded the same fall as the national rate, 16%.

Agriculture, forestry and fishing
Within this industry, there are two main groups of employees. The Grain, sheep and beef cattle farming group accounts for 30% of employees and has recorded no improvement in incidence rates while the Horticulture and fruit growing group, which accounts for 33% of employees, has recorded a 10% fall. Falls in incidence rates have also been recorded in most other groups. However, greater efforts are required in Marine Fishing and Services to Agriculture (shearing services, fruit picking and crop harvesting) which recorded increases in incidence rates of 58% and 7% respectively. These groups together account for 10% of employees in the Agriculture, forestry and fishing industry.
Agriculture, forestry and fishing: Incidence rate of serious injury
Claims per 1000 employees 30 25 20 15 base period 2003-04
Achieved

Manufacturing
Unlike many of the other industries, the Manufacturing industry had slightly fewer employees in 2006–07 than when the Strategy began. Despite this, it has not been able to reduce the number of serious work-related injuries substantially, with incidence rates falling only 6%. Notable falls in incidence rates of 18% were recorded in three of the Manufacturing sub-divisions: Food, beverage and tobacco; Textile, clothing, footwear and leather; and Printing, publishing and recorded media.
Manufacturing: Incidence rate of serious injury
Claims per 1000 employees 30

25

2005-06

2007-08

2009-10

2011-12

20

Required to meet target

15 base period 2003-04 Achieved

2005-06

2007-08

2009-10

2011-12

Required to meet target

Construction
The Construction industry achieved the largest reduction in incidence rates since the Strategy began (23%). While employment increased 46%, particularly in Installation trade services (plumbing, electrical and air conditioning/heating services) and Building construction, claim numbers increased only 12%. Decreases exceeding the interim target of a 20% reduction in incidence rates were observed for all groups within the Construction industry except for the Building construction (12% fall) and Building completion services (15% fall) groups. The Site preparation group recorded the greatest percentage improvement, a 35% fall in incidence rates.
Construction: Incidence rate of serious injury
Claims per 1000 employees 30

Health and community services: Incidence rate of serious injury
18

Claims per 1000 employees

15

12

9 base period 2003-04 Achieved

2005-06

2007-08

2009-10

2011-12

Required to meet target

Transport and storage
The Transport and storage industry recorded the second highest reduction in incidence rates since the Strategy began (21%). This is due to a 19% increase in employment combined with a 6% fall in the number of serious claims. The Road freight transport group accounts for the largest proportion of employees in this industry (30%) and recorded a 13% reduction in incidence rates. The other group to contribute substantially to the overall reduction for the industry was the Air and space transport group which has recorded a 45% reduction in incidence rates since the Strategy began. This group accounts for 12% of employees in the industry.
Transport and storage: Incidence rate of serious injury
Claims per 1000 employees 30

25

20

15 base period 2003-04 Achieved

2005-06

2007-08

2009-10

2011-12

Required to meet target

Health and community services
There were variable results within this industry. Medical and dental services recorded a 34% decrease in incidence rates with Hospitals and nursing homes and Other health services decreasing 18% and 21% respectively. Child care services has doubled its workforce since the Strategy began but has also recorded double the number of injuries incurred by employees, resulting in no change in incidence rates. Similarly, Community care services recorded an increase in employment to match the increase in claims. Nearly half of all employees in this industry are employed in Hospitals and nursing homes and it is the improvement in this group that has driven the fall for the industry. Employment increased in this group by 15% while claim numbers decreased 6%.

25

20

15 base period 2003-04 Achieved

2005-06

2007-08

2009-10

2011-12

Required to meet target

Achievements against the national targets for injury and fatality are measured using the National Data Set for Compensation-based Statistics (NDS). The baseline for measuring progress towards the targets is taken from the data for the three-year period 2000–01 to 2002–03. A three-year base period has been chosen to smooth much of the volatility that could result from selecting only one year. Data for 2006–07 have been adjusted as the data currently available are preliminary and likely to rise by around 3%. More information on the National OHS Strategy can be found at www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au
© Commonwealth of Australia 2009