SAFETY FIRST: Electrician Callan Lester under the watchful eye of physio Ben McGuire.
SAFETY FIRST: Electrician Callan Lester under the watchful eye of physio Ben McGuire. Allan Reinikka Rokaphysio

Pain for 855 Rocky workers who were hurt on the job

ONE person died and 855 workers were hurt on the job in just two years across our region.

An APN Newsdesk analysis of Safe Work Australia workers' compensation claim data reveals office workers are at highest risk of injury in our region.

A transport/production sector employee died in Rockhampton in 2012-13.

In the same year, 420 others were hurt at Rockhampton and Livingstone workplaces.

While there were no workplace deaths in 2013-14, it was still an unsafe 12 months, with 435 workers injured.

The highest number of claims came from the clerical, sales and service sector, with 320 lodged, while the professional sector made 230 claims.

Tradies came in third, with 140 compo claims submitted.

Safe Work Australia says on-the-job injuries leave a $60.6 billion hole in the nation's economy each year.

Allison Hutton, one of the country's leading experts in workplace health and safety, said the death and injury tolls were too high.

"Health and safety has to remain a very high concern for employers," the CQUniversity OHS and accident forensics academic said.

"There were close to 118,000 serious injury claims (Australia-wide) in the 2012-13 financial year.

"If you look at the numbers, they're scary, but you can also see an improvement over the last 20 years."

Ms Hutton said a new generation of safety-conscious leaders could turn the tide on workplace deaths and injuries.

"In the last couple of years, we've seen a lot of school-leavers coming into the Bachelor of Occupational Health and Safety programs, and that's partly because they've grown up with the concepts of safety," she said.

"(It's) the beginnings of a generational shift where you've got a lot of young people coming through thinking about safety, and that's going to be a huge change."

BY THE NUMBERS:

Rockhampton and Livingstone workplace injury claims by financial year

Type, 2012-13, 2013-14

Injuries: 420, 435

Fatalities: 1

The top-three injury claims by sector:

Sector, 2012-13, 2013-14

Clerical, sales and service workers: 155, 165

Professionals: 120, 110

Tradespersons and related workers: 70, 70

Source: Safe Work Australia



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