WorkSafe announces new safety record in half-year results

The rate of injuries in Victorian workplaces (2015/16) has reached a new record low, according to the half-yearly results released yesterday by WorkSafe Victoria. 
News article published

Friday 04 Mar 2016

Industries and topics
  • Health and safety representatives
  • Insurance

As of 31 December 2015 there were 7 claims per million hours worked (MHW) in Victorian workplaces, compared to 7.34 claims recorded at the end of 2014/15 - a fall of 4.6 per cent.

The safety results were released by WorkSafe chief executive Clare Amies at a briefing to key stakeholders at the Melbourne Town Hall yesterday.

The briefing was attended by Finance Minister Robin Scott, WorkSafe chairman Paul Barker, and stakeholders that included representatives of employer and union groups.

Ms Amies said that while employment in Victoria had grown strongly, the injury claims rate had continued to fall.

“However, we know we cannot take this for granted. There’s a long way to go in making Victorian workplaces even safer,” she said.

Ms Amies said WorkSafe’s Performance from Insurance Operations (PFIO) for the six months to 31 December was $99 million, which was $139 million below target.

“The unfavourable variance in PFIO is mainly due to an actuarial increase of $134 million,” Ms Amies said.

“We have been forecasting that actuarial releases would become harder to achieve following the significant claims management practice and scheme efficiency improvements over the past decade.”

She said the net result after tax was -$162 million, which was $335 million below budget. This was due to a number of external factors, primarily unfavourable investment returns.

Ms Amies said the scheme remained financially sound but growth in common law liabilities posed a challenge.

“The scheme is continuing to see growth in annual common law lodgements, and also significant increases in applications relating to injuries at the less serious end of the severity scale,” Ms Amies said.

“Careful management of common law claims is required to ensure the scheme’s long-term financial sustainability.

“It remains financially sound but we’re not shying away from this challenge and are well prepared for the significant work to be done on this front.

“We will continue to work with our stakeholders to ensure we’re delivering the best system for the Victorian community and to meet the challenges ahead.”

Half year results at a glance 2015/16 (31 December 2015)
Performance from insurance operations $99 million
Actuarial release -$134 million
Net result after tax -$162 million
Funding ratio 117%
Break even premium 1.236%