Safe Work Australia commissioned Deloitte Access Economics to undertake a ground-breaking study that explores the cost of work-related injury and illness in Australia. The report uses an innovative modelling approach to estimate how much value could be created within the Australian economy by removing work-related injury and illness.
Work is central to economic life, but it is not a risk-free activity. In 2017-18,563,600 people, or 4.2 per cent of working people in Australia suffered awork-related injury or illness.[i] Of these incidents, 60 per cent resulted in the worker taking some time off work.[ii] Work-related injuries and illnesses occur in every industry, occupation, and sector. While the risks differ by industry and occupation, the prospect of becoming injured or unwell because of work has the potential to impact the people in every job in Australia.
Safe Work Australia (SWA) is an Australian government statutory agency tasked with developing national policy to improve work health and safety and workers’ compensation arrangements across Australia. SWA engaged Deloitte Access Economics (DAE) to use a computable general equilibrium (CGE) model, following the World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines, to help answer the question:‘what is the economic impact of removing all work-related injury and illness between 2008 and 2018?’.
Our analysis suggested that when a worker experiences a work-related injury orillness, it is not only the individual and their community that suffers, it is the wider Australian workforce that loses the opportunity to access more and better jobs with higher wages. The key findings include:
[i]Australian Bureau of Statistics, ‘Work-related injuries’, (July 2017 – June 2018), (Catalogue No 6324.0, 30 October 2018)