Workplace injuries in Victoria fall to record low

17 October 2016

The number of workplace injuries in Victoria has fallen to a record low, according to data released by WorkSafe Victoria in its 2015/16 annual report.

Despite strong employment growth across the state, the rate of workplace injuries per million hours fell to 6.95 claims – an improvement of 5.2 per cent on the previous record of 7.34 claims per million hours that was achieved in 2014/15.

Continued improvements in safety prevention helped WorkSafe achieve a performance from insurance operations (PFIO) of $280 million. The result would have been stronger if not for an actuarial increase of $135 million. Overall, the scheme posted a net deficit for the year of $475 million.

The scheme’s funding ratio was 112 per cent, which sits in WorkSafe’s target range of 82.5 per cent to 117.5 per cent.

According to WorkSafe Chief Executive Clare Amies, the PFIO of $280 million reflected the sound management of Victoria’s workers compensation scheme.

“Performance from insurance operations is the best indicator of the scheme’s financial health, because it excludes factors outside our control, such as global investment returns and fluctuating interest rates,” Ms Amies said.

Ms Amies said the record low rate of injury claims was a credit to all employers and employees, and had contributed to the solid PFIO result.

“Despite fewer workers being injured, however, WorkSafe still paid out more than $1.8 billion in compensation, treatment and rehabilitation benefits to injured Victorian workers in 2015/16,” she said.

“We are committed to ensuring that injured workers receive the treatment they need to get back to work as soon as it is safe for them to do so.  Injured workers who are supported and looked after during their treatment and rehabilitation get back to work sooner, and that’s good for them, their families and the community.”

Ms Amies said the net result after tax was disappointing. “It was well below expectations but it was primarily due to unfavourable conditions in investment markets and changes in economic assumptions, such as discount rates.”

Ms Amies said the scheme was in a sound financial position but several key factors continued to put pressure on its sustainability.

“The ongoing growth in common law lodgements, an increase in complex injuries and a future of potentially lower investment returns means we have to continue to innovate and seek ways to remain sustainable,” Ms Amies said.

Ms Amies said reducing fatalities and injuries in Victorian workplaces would remain a key priority for WorkSafe.

“Tragically, 31 people lost their lives in a workplace incident over the past 12 months,” Ms Amies said.

“Each fatality is a terrible tragedy because of the enormous impact it has on families, workmates and the wider community.

“Every workplace death is preventable, which is why safety is vital.  We will continue to work closely with employers, unions and workers to make safety the priority in every workplace.”




  PFIO (performance from insurance operations)

$280 million

  Actuarial increase

$135 million

  Net result after tax

($475) million

  Funding ratio

112 per cent

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