Safe Work Australia has published new national workers’ compensation statistics.

The Australian workers’ compensation statistics 2020-21 report provides the latest national statistics on accepted serious workers’ compensation claims.

The report says there were 130,195 serious workers’ compensation claims in 2020-21, 13 per cent of which were for illness and diseases. Of these, mental health conditions were the most common. 

The stats also show the number of serious claims fell 7 per cent from 133,041 claims in 2000–01 to 122,801 claims in 2019–20. 

While a relatively low proportion of claims relate to occupational violence, such injuries are on the rise. Serious claims for being assaulted by a person or persons have more than doubled since 2000–01 (up by 177 per cent). 

In the latest figures, the three occupations with the highest frequency rates of serious claims were labourers, followed by community and personal service workers, and machinery operators and drivers.

The three industries with the highest rate of serious claims were agriculture, forestry and fishing, followed by health care and social assistance, and finally, manufacturing.

The three most common injury types were traumatic joint/ligament and muscle/tendon injuries (40 per cent of all serious claims), followed by musculoskeletal and connective tissue diseases (16 per cent), and wounds, lacerations, amputations and internal organ damage (15 per cent).

The median time lost for a serious claim was 7 working weeks. The median compensation paid was $15,100.