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Injury Statistics – Work-related Claims: 2010
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  19 October 2011
Data quality

Period-specific information
This section has information about data that has changed since the last release.

General information
This section has information on data that does not change between releases.

Period-specific information

Reference period

This release contains provisional statistics for work-related claims for injuries in the 2010 calendar year. It also includes final statistics for injuries in the 2009 calendar year. Both of these are as reported by 31 March 2011.

Changes since the last release

Age

Information releases in previous years included data on work-related injuries for people aged 14 years and under. In this year’s release these have now been grouped into ‘other and unspecified’. This is due to uncertainty about the ages recorded for people in this group. In previous years, claims by people aged 14 years and under comprised less than 1 percent of total claims.

FTE figures are not available for the 14 and under age group because the HLFS excludes those aged below 15 years. As such, incidence rates cannot be calculated for this group.

Employment status

The data for employment status includes some responses outside the scope of the code set for this variable. In previous years these responses were grouped into the ‘employee’ category. In this release these responses have been separated into another category called ‘other’.

This has little effect on the rates and percentages calculated from this data. Separating these figures from the rest of the data allows a measure of data quality that can be monitored over time.

General information

Data sources

Data on claims for work-related injuries is from the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC). All claims are included under the calendar year when the injury occurred. For provisional figures, claims are only included if some costs are recorded within three months of the end of the year in which the injury occurred. For final figures, claims are only included if some costs are recorded within 15 months of the end of the calendar year in which the injury occurred. This allows for a consistent comparison between the years. Although details of claims may change after this time (for example the claimant may die), the statistics in this release will not be updated to reflect these changes.

Figures for the number of full-time equivalent employees (FTEs) are sourced from the Household Labour Force Survey (HLFS). These figures are used to calculate incidence rates.

Accuracy of the data

Reporting ethnicity for 2002–08

Ethnic group reporting for the number of claims from 2002 to 2008 uses a single ethnic group for each claim.

It is possible that an injured worker, in an ACC claim, will list more than one ethnic group. However, only one ethnic group has been included in the claims data used for these statistics. This is chosen on the basis of the ethnicity recorded in the first column of the data.

For the reporting of full-time equivalent employee (FTE) numbers by ethnic group, the HLFS allows up to three ethnic groups to be coded for each respondent, and then the following prioritising system is used to allocate a single ethnic group code:

  • any person who reports a ‘Māori’ ethnicity is allocated to the ‘Māori’ category
  • any person who reports a ‘Pacific people’ ethnicity (that is Samoan, Cook Island Maori, Niuean, Tongan, or other Pacific), but not ‘Māori’ ethnicity, is allocated to the ‘Pacific peoples’ category
  • any person who reports a ‘Chinese’, ‘Indian’ and/or ‘other’ ethnicity, but not ‘Māori’ and/or ‘Pacific peoples’ ethnicity, is allocated to the ‘other’ category
  • any person who reports a ‘European/Pakeha’ ethnicity only, is allocated to the ‘European/Pakeha’ category only.

This difference in coding multiple ethnicities means that where ACC and HLFS figures are combined, as in the calculation of incidence rates, the numerator and denominator are measured in different ways, even though the labels of the categories used in each are the same.

Ethnic group reporting for 2009 onwards

Ethnic group reporting for 2009 and 2010 uses ‘total response’ for both the number of claims and the number of FTEs.

Total response counts the injured person once in every ethnic group they identify with. For example, people of Samoan, Tongan, and Māori ethnicities would be counted once in the ‘Pacific peoples’ category and once in the ‘Māori’ category.

Counting individuals in more than one ethnic group means that the sum of the ethnic groups will be greater than the number of people. However, it does mean that all ethnicities are counted and identified in a specific unambiguous ethnic group and that the relative size of the groups within the population is fairly represented.

In this release, up to three separate ethnic groups are reported for each claim. Any remaining ethnic groups reported have been grouped as ‘other' ethnicity. As multiple ethnicities are coded in the same manner by ACC and the HLFS, the numerator and denominator are consistent in the calculation of incidence rates.

The 2009 and 2010 figures on ethnic group are not comparable with the figures produced in previous releases. Tables and commentary on trends by ethnic group are not reported in this release, because of the break in the time series.

Claims involving treatment at hospital accident and emergency departments

Treatment provided at a hospital accident and emergency department (A&E) is bulk funded by ACC directly to the district health boards (DHBs) and is not recorded against individual claims. Claims involving treatment provided at A&E only are not included in this release.

Industry

Because of the high proportion of claims in which the industry was not specified (provisionally 20 percent in 2010), tables and commentary on trends by industry are not included in this release. Figures on injuries by industry should be interpreted with care.

Full-time equivalent employees

Because FTE numbers are derived from a sample survey (the HLFS), the FTE figures are subject to both sampling and non-sampling error, and should therefore be seen as indicative rather than definitive.

HLFS population rebase and incidence rates by ethnicity

The December 2008 quarter HLFS release included a population rebase that revised the statistical series back to the 2001 Census to reflect revisions to the population estimates derived from the 2006 Census. In addition, population benchmarks for the Māori ethnic group were introduced to improve the quality of the Māori estimates. All the figures including and subsequent to the 2007 final incidence rates are based on rebased FTE figures; however, earlier incidence rates have not been revised.

For most of the data, the FTE figures after the rebase were similar to those before the rebase, so that the incidence rate calculations were also similar. However, the new Māori population benchmark increased the number of FTEs for Māori. This change has caused a break in the series of incidence rates by ethnicity between 2006 and 2007. Therefore, trends in these rates are not discussed in this release.

Rounding and suppression

Figures for the number of claims (except for the number of fatal claims) have been rounded to the nearest hundred. The rounding may result in a total disagreeing slightly with the total of the individual items as shown in the tables. Rounded claims figures of less than 100 have been suppressed.

Figures for the number of fatal claims are unrounded. Numbers of fatal claims less than four have been suppressed. If only one cell in the table has been suppressed in this way, another cell has also been suppressed to maintain confidentiality.

Percentages

All percentages in the information release are calculated from unrounded data.

Consistency with other periods or datasets

Comparability with the injury chartbooks

Data from ACC on work-related injury claims are also used for injury surveillance and monitoring through the injury chartbooks. The chartbooks present annual frequencies and rates for outcomes of serious injury in New Zealand. For work-related injury, the chartbooks present indicators for fatal injuries, and serious non-fatal injuries (these are injuries which meet a certain threshold of severity). They also present a serious injury indicator, that combines the fatal and serious non-fatal data. While the data used in the chartbooks has some similarities with the data used in this information release, there are some key differences:

  • The chartbooks contain high level indicators, while the information release contains a more detailed breakdown of the data.
  • The ACC data used in the chartbooks is updated each year, so each new chartbook supersedes the previous one. In contrast, although some of the data for each year’s information release is updated to present ‘final’ data, each year’s information release stands alone.
  • The data is presented differently in each publication. The information release separates the data into all claims, entitlement claims, and fatal claims. The chartbooks present indicators based on a calculated level of severity.
  • The chartbooks present data for fatal injuries as three-year moving averages, due to the small numbers. The information release publishes fatal data for single years, but suppresses small numbers (see Rounding and suppression above).

See Chartbooks of the New Zealand Injury Prevention Strategy for more information and a link to the latest chartbooks.

Interpreting the data

Counting claims vs counting injuries

The data in this information release are for claims for work-related injuries, and are not a definitive count of all work-related injuries. This is because not all work-related injuries result in a claim to ACC.

Similarly for fatal injuries, the statistics in this release are not a definitive count of work-related fatalities. Firstly, not all fatal work-related injuries are the subject of claims to ACC. Secondly, in this release fatal work-related injuries are counted in the year that the injury took place. This differs from ACC's practice of counting work-related deaths in the year that the death took place.

The concept of counting deaths in the year the injury took place is problematic in the case of occupational disease, where the effects of exposure to known carcinogens or other hazardous substances may take many years to become apparent. To create consistency in the count of work-related deaths across years, only deaths occurring within 15 months of the end of the calendar year in which the injury took place are included in the totals for ‘final’ estimates. For provisional estimates of work-related fatalities, deaths occurring within three months of the end of the calendar year the injury took place are counted (see Final figures and Provisional figures for more detail).

Classifications used in the information release

Body site of injury

Body site is classified using the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 10th revision, Australian Modification, Second Edition (ICD-10-AM). The codes of the classification combine information on the type of injury, illness or disease, and the body site in a detailed, hierarchical manner.

Industry

The Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), New Zealand Version 1996, (Version 4.1) is used to classify each business by industry.

Injury diagnoses: National Data Standards for Injury Surveillance (NDS-IS)

This is an Australian standard that describes data items and classifications designed to support injury surveillance. It provides a hierarchy of three levels of data collection and is intended for use in a wide range of health settings. The NDS-IS has comparability with the International Classification of Diseases and Health Related Problems (ICD-10).

For this release injury diagnoses are aggregated into three groups based on recommendations from the NDS-IS. These include:

  • injury, poisoning, and other consequences of external causes
  • illness and disease
  • other and undefined.

Occupation

Occupation is classified according to the New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (NZSCO), 1995, Version 2.0.

Liability

While all care and diligence has been used in processing, analysing, and extracting data and information in this publication, Statistics NZ gives no warranty it is error-free and will not be liable for any loss or damage suffered by the use directly, or indirectly, of the information in this publication.

Timing

Timed statistical releases are delivered using postal and electronic services provided by third parties. Delivery of these releases may be delayed by circumstances outside the control of Statistics NZ. Statistics NZ accepts no responsibility for any such delays.

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