Stats NZ has a new website.

For new releases go to

www.stats.govt.nz

As we transition to our new site, you'll still find some Stats NZ information here on this archive site.

  • Share this page to Facebook
  • Share this page to Twitter
  • Share this page to Google+
Injury Statistics – Work-related Claims: 2015
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  28 November 2016
Commentary

Background to the data

These figures are for claims accepted by the Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) for work-related injuries. They are not a definitive count of all work-related injuries, because not all injuries result in a claim to ACC.

From 2015, Accredited Employers Programme (AEP) claims have been included in this data. The ACC Accredited Employers Programme entitles employers who meet certain criteria to manage their employee’s work related injuries on ACC’s behalf by taking full responsibility for delivering all statutory entitlements, such as weekly compensation for lost earnings. In return, employers are entitled to a levy discount.

The statistics are based on one claim per person for each injury event during the calendar year. For example, if someone made two claims for the same shoulder injury then only one is included. However, if someone made two claims for two separate injury events, such as a shoulder injury and an ankle injury, then both are included.

This release covers information about claims for work-related injuries, as well as information about claims involving entitlement payments, and claims for fatal injuries. It contains the latest results – provisional statistics for 2015 and final statistics for 2014.

These figures include claims due to occupational disease and work-related gradual process (eg hearing loss).

This commentary focuses on the provisional statistics for 2015, and then looks at trends in work-related injuries for 2002–15. For the first time in 2016 we include provisional data in the trends data. Note: claims for injuries that occurred in 2015 can still be updated, so the numbers can change.

Within this commentary we report on: 

  • incidence rates – the number of claims per 1,000 full-time equivalent employees (FTEs), which indicate the risk associated with different groups 
  • total number of claims, which provides an indication of total size of the problem 
  • entitlement claims, which reflects the number of more serious injuries 
  • number of fatal claims.

The incidence rates were calculated using updated full-time equivalent employee estimates from the Household Labour Force Survey (HLFS).

2016 HLFS redevelopment and incidence rates has more information.

top

230,200 work-related injury claims in 2015

Provisionally, there were 230,200 claims for work-related injuries that occurred in the 2015 calendar year. This is up from 226,900 claims finalised for 2014. The 2015 claims were made by 204,000 people.

The provisional incidence rate for 2015 was 110 work-related injury claims per 1,000 FTEs. This compares with 111 claims per 1,000 FTEs finalised in 2014.

Of all work-related claims, 13 percent (31,000) resulted in entitlement payments. This includes payments for weekly compensation and rehabilitation necessary for returning to independence. 

Claim rates and number of claims higher for males

In 2015, 71 percent of all work-related injury claims (162,800 claims) were for males. Their incidence rate (140 claims per 1,000 FTEs) was approximately twice as high as for females (73 claims per 1,000 FTEs).

Males made noticeably more entitlement claims (22,700 claims) than females did (8,400 claims). Almost three-quarters (73 percent) of entitlement claims made in 2015 were for males. Their rate (19 claims per 1,000 FTEs) was more than double that for females (9 claims per 1,000 FTEs). 

Seventy-two claims were made for fatal work-related injuries in 2015. Of these claims, 92 percent were for males.

Workers aged 65+ accounted for 58 percent of all fatal claims.

Note that fatalities are under-represented by claims, as some fatalities do not necessarily result in a fatal injury claim to ACC.

45–54-year age group makes most claims

In 2015, workers aged 45–54 years made 49,300 claims (21 percent of all claims). This was followed by workers aged 25–34 who made 47,600 claims, also around 21 percent of all claims. Older workers (65+) had the lowest number of claims, consistent with the demographic structure of the working-age population. 

Graph, Work-related injury claims, by age group, 2015.

The highest claim rate was for the youngest workers (aged 15–24 years), at 143 claims per 1,000 FTEs. Workers aged 65 years and older (65+) had the second-highest claim rate (131 claims per 1,000 FTEs).

Graph, Incidence rate of work-related injury claims, by age group, 2015.

Workers aged 65+ had the highest incidence rate of entitlement claims (30 entitlement claims per 1,000 FTEs). Workers aged 55–64 had the next-highest rates (17 per 1,000 FTEs).

Graph, Incidence rate of claims involving entitlement payment, by age group, 2015.

Number of entitlement claims highest for workers aged 45–54

As for all work-related claims, in 2015, workers aged 45–54 made more entitlement claims than any other age group did, with 6,800 claims. This was 22 percent of all entitlement claims. Workers aged 65+ made the fewest, with 3,100 claims (10 percent).Graph, Claims involving entitlement payments for work-related injuries, by age group, 2015.

top

Pacific peoples have highest claim rate of the four major ethnic groups, but lowest number of claims

The rates for work-related injury claims in 2015 for the four major ethnic groups were:

  • Pacific peoples – 103 claims per 1,000 FTEs
  • Māori – 101 claims per 1,000 FTEs
  • European – 86 claims per 1,000 FTEs
  • Asian – 62 claims per 1,000 FTEs.

Graph, Incidence rate of work-related injury claims, by ethnic group, 2015.

Work-related claims by selected ethnic groups, 2015 (provisional)
Ethnicity

Number of claims

Percentage of all work-related claims

European

135,100

59

Māori

24,400

11

Asian

16,100

7

Pacific peoples

11,600

5

Note: Percentages will not sum to 100 because 'other' and 'not specified' categories are not included here. 
See Ethnic group reporting for more information on totals for ethnicity.
Source: Statistics New Zealand

top

Claim rates for Māori across the four highest occupations differ from the order of rates for overall population

In the 2013 Census, 15 percent of the population identified as being of Māori ethnicity. In 2015, the HLFS estimated 12 percent of the total labour force were of Māori ethnicity.

However, Māori accounted for 24,400 claims in 2015, which is 11 percent of all claims for work-related injuries. Males were responsible for 17,800 of these claims. The claim rate for Māori in 2015 was 101 claims per 1,000 FTEs, compared with 110 for the overall population.

Māori made 11 percent of claims involving entitlement payments (3,600 entitlement claims). Males made 2,800 of these claims. The highest proportion of entitlement claims came from people of European ethnicity, at 55 percent. The entitlement claim rate for Māori and the overall population in 2015 was the same (15 claims per 1,000 FTEs for each).

In 2015, Māori made six claims for fatal work-related injuries (8 percent of fatal work-related injury claims). 

For Māori, the 15-24-year age group had the highest rate of work-related claims, at 118 claims per 1,000 FTEs. The lowest rate was for the 55–64-year age group, at 90 claims per 1,000 FTEs. For the overall population, the age group with the highest rate of claims was also the 15–24-year age group, consistent with the result for Māori. However, the 35–44-year age group had the lowest claim rate within the overall population.

Graph, Incidence rate of work-related injury claims, by age group, 2015. 

Agriculture and fishery workers had the highest incidence rate for Māori of any occupation group (216 work-related injury claims per 1,000 FTEs). The lowest rate was for clerks, who had a rate of 27 claims per 1,000 FTEs.

The claim rates for Māori across the occupation groups generally follow the same pattern as for the overall population, except for the four highest categories, which follow a different order to that seen for the overall population. This can be seen in the graph 'Incidence rate of work-related injury claims, by occupation'.

Graph, Incidence rate of work-related injury claims, by occupation, 2015.

top

Claim rates highest for elementary occupations and the agriculture, forestry, and fishing industry

Occupation claim rates

‘Occupation’ describes the injured person’s job at the time of their injury.

Elementary occupations (eg, cleaners, refuse collectors, pest controllers or couriers), had the highest incidence rate, with 238 work-related injury claims per 1,000 FTEs in 2015. The next-highest rates were for:

  • agriculture (including forestry) and fishery workers – 233 claims per 1,000 FTEs 
  • trades workers (eg builders) – 201 claims per 1,000 FTEs.

The lowest rates were for clerks and professionals, who had 35 and 40 claims per 1,000 FTEs, respectively.

Graph, Incidence rate of work-related injury claims, by occupation, 2015.

In 2015, elementary occupations had the highest incidence rate for entitlement claims, at 40 per 1,000 FTEs. Plant and machine operators and assemblers had the second-highest rate (36 entitlement claims per 1,000 FTEs).

Industry claim rates

‘Industry’ describes the main type of activity carried out by the organisation that the injured person worked for.

This differs from occupation, which describes the injured person's job at the time of their injury. For example, a plumber could be a trades worker in the construction industry.

It is important to note that the industry of the workplace where the injury occurred was not specified for 10 percent of claims (22,200 claims).

In 2015, the highest incidence rates were for: 

  • agriculture, forestry, and fishing – 206 claims per 1,000 FTEs
  • arts and recreation services – 194 claims per 1,000 FTEs 
  • construction – 163 claims per 1,000 FTEs.

Note: arts and recreation services include professional sporting activities and adventure sports.

Graph, Incidence rate of work-related injury claims, by industry, 2015.

The industries with the highest rates of work-related entitlement claims in 2015 were: 

  • agriculture, forestry, and fishing – 31 entitlement claims per 1,000 FTEs 
  • manufacturing – 27 claims
  • transport, postal, and warehousing – 26 claims.

top

Number of claims highest for trades workers and manufacturing industry

Occupation claim numbers

The occupation groups with the most work-related injury claims in 2015 were:

  • trades workers – 40,100 claims 
  • plant and machine operators and assemblers – 33,000 claims 
  • agriculture and fishery workers – 31,700 claims.

Claims by males outnumbered those by females in most occupation groups, except for: 

  • professionals (60 percent of claims were made by females) 
  • service and sales workers (58 percent of claims were made by females) 
  • clerks (56 percent of claims were made by females).

A high proportion of the workers in the three occupation groups with the highest number of work-related injury claims were males. Males made:

  • 98 percent of all claims by trades workers 
  • 88 percent of all claims by plant and machine operators and assemblers 
  • 78 percent of all claims by agriculture and fishery workers.

Entitlement claims in 2015 were highest for these occupation groups: 

  • plant and machine operators and assemblers (6,000 claims) 
  • trades workers (4,900 claims) 
  • agriculture and fishery workers (4,200 claims) 
  • elementary occupations (4,200 claims).

Combined, these groups accounted for over 60 percent of all entitlement claims.

Industry claim numbers

Work-related claims in 2015 were highest for workers in the following industries:

  • manufacturing – 38,500 claims
  • construction – 34,300 claims 
  • agriculture, forestry, and fishing – 25,600 claims.

However, forestry and fishing accounted for just 1,700 of the broader industry's total claims, with 1,000 and 700 claims, respectively.

Mining had the fewest work-related claims (500). This is probably because of the relatively small number of workers in this industry.

In 2015, the manufacturing industry had the highest number of entitlement claims, with 6,600 claims.

However, the fishing industry and the transport, postal, and warehousing industry had the highest proportion of entitlement claims as a proportion of all claims within the industry. For both of these industries, this type of claim made up 21 percent of claims made in each industry. This is compared with 13 percent across all industries.

Claim rate much higher for self-employed

Employment status indicates whether a worker was self-employed or an employee at the time of their injury.

Comparing these two groups shows that: 

  • employees accounted for 87 percent of all work-related claims in 2015 
  • the incidence rate was much higher for self-employed workers (147 claims per 1,000 FTEs) than for employees (106 claims per 1,000 FTEs).

top

Claim rates lowest in Wellington and Auckland

The regions with the highest incidence rates in 2015 were: 

  • Gisborne/Hawke’s Bay – 151 claims per 1,000 FTEs 
  • Northland – 141 claims per 1,000 FTEs 
  • Tasman/Nelson/Marlborough/West Coast – 136 claims per 1,000 FTEs.

Wellington had the lowest rate (72 claims per 1,000 FTEs). Auckland had the second-lowest (95 claims per 1,000 FTEs).

Graph, Incidence rate of work-related injury claims, by region, 2015.

In 2015, the Auckland region had the most claims with 67,800 claims (29 percent of all claims), reflecting the large size of the region's population. Canterbury (36,000 claims) and Waikato (22,700 claims) were second and third respectively, reflecting the high number of FTEs in these regions. However, Wellington, the third-largest region in terms of FTEs, had the fifth highest number of claims (17,200 claims – 7 percent of the country’s work-related claims). This lower level may reflect the different composition of occupation and industry within the Wellington region.

In 2015, the highest entitlement claim rates (all with 20 claims per 1,000 FTEs) were in:

  • Northland
  • Gisborne/Hawke’s Bay 
  • Manawatu-Wanganui.

The fourth-highest rate of entitlement claims was in Canterbury (19 claims per 1,000 FTEs).

The following regions all had 18 entitlement claims per 1,000 FTEs: 

  • Taranaki
  • Tasman/Nelson/Marlborough/West Coast 
  • Otago/Southland.

Apart from Wellington and Auckland, all regions had entitlement claim rates between 16 and 20 per 1,000 FTEs.

The Wellington region again had the lowest rate, with 10 entitlement claims per 1,000 FTEs.

Graph, Incidence rate of claims involving entitlement payment, by region, 2015.

Auckland had the highest number of entitlement claims (7,800), accounting for 25 percent of the total. However, this region had the second-lowest incidence rate, at 11 claims per 1,000 FTEs.

top

Trend data shows claims continue to increase, but claim rate steady

The number of work-related claims increased steadily between 2002 and 2005. In 2006, the number decreased, and this trend continued until 2012. This changed in 2013, when for the first time in eight years the number of claims increased. This increase has continued through to 2015.

Graph, Work-related injury claims, by year of injury, 2002 to 2015.

The incidence rate decreased each year since 2002, from 158 work-related claims per 1,000 FTEs in 2002 to 111 claims per 1,000 FTEs in 2012. However, this trend slowed down in recent years, with the rate remaining around 111 work-related claims per 1,000 FTEs in 2013 and 2014 and at 110 claims per 1,000 FTEs in 2015.

Graph, Incidence rate of work-related injury claims, by year of injury, 2002 to 2015.

Proportion of claims made by males declines; claim rate for 65+ age group falls

Trends for males and females

Males have consistently dominated the number of claims by accounting for approximately three-quarters of all work-related claims each year between 2002 and 2015. However, the proportion of claims made by males has decreased over time, from 75 percent in 2002 to 71 percent in 2013. This proportion has remained consistent through to 2015.

Graph, Percentage of work-related injury claims, by sex, 2002 to 2015.

Each year, males also had a higher incidence rate than females. The rate for males decreased from 203 claims per 1,000 FTEs in 2002 to 143 in 2014. The rate for females also decreased over this period, from 95 claims per 1,000 FTEs in 2002 to 72 in 2014.

Provisional data for 2015 as at 15 August 2016 shows a decrease for males (140 claims per 1,000 FTEs), and a slight increase for females at 73 claims per 1,000 FTEs. These rates can still change as more claims are filed and updated. However, the incidence rate for males has decreased between 2002 to 2015 more than for females – by 31 percent, compared with 23 percent for females.

Trends for age groups

The 65+ age group consistently had the highest claim rate from 2002 until 2011. However, in 2011 the rate fell below that for 15–24-year-olds. This was due to a significant drop in the number of claims for occupational disease and gradual process injury among the 65+ age group.

The drop in the 65+ age group is most noticeable between 2009 and 2011 where the rate fell from 194 to 130 claims per 1,000 FTEs during the two-year period.

Graph, Incidence rate of work-related injury claims, by age group, 2002 to 2015.

In 2015, the 15–24-year age group had the highest claim rate, at 143 work-related claims per 1,000 FTEs.

The incidence rate of claims has generally declined for almost all age groups since 2002. However, since 2011 this decline has slowed down or levelled off.

Between 2002 and 2007, workers aged 35–44 made the most claims each year. In 2008, as claims for this group dropped, their claims equalled those of workers aged 45–54. From 2009 onwards, the 45–54-year age group consistently had the highest number of claims. This trend continued through to 2013, with these two age groups being responsible for the most claims each year. However, our most recent data for 2014 and provisionally for 2015 shows that the 25–34-year age group has now become the group with the second highest amount of claims.

In 2015, 49,300 claims were made in the 45–54-year age group, and 47,600 in the 25–34-year age group.

Graph, Work-related injury claims, by age group, 2002 to 2015.

top

Trends show elementary occupations and agriculture and fishery workers have consistently high claim rates

In 2002, elementary occupations had the highest claim rate (363 claims per 1,000 FTEs). Despite dropping in 2003, this rate continued to be the highest through to 2007. However, the rate dropped further in 2008, when agriculture and fishery workers had the highest claim rate (294 claims per 1,000 FTEs). Agriculture and fishery workers continued to have the highest rate between 2008 and 2014, although the rate has been dropping and has slowed down in recent years. Provisional data for 2015 shows that elementary occupations have overtaken agriculture and fishery workers as having the highest claim rate (238 claims per 1,000 FTEs), but this could change again once the data is finalised.

Graph, Incidence rate of work-related injury claims, by selected occupation group, 2002 to 2015.

Claim rates consistently highest for self-employed, but gap narrowing

The incidence rate for self-employed workers has been higher than that for employed workers each year since 2002. In 2014, the incidence rate was 149 claims per 1,000 FTEs for self-employed people, and 107 for employees. The smallest difference between the two groups was in 2012, where the rate for self-employed was around 40 claims per 1,000 FTEs higher than for employees. In 2015, provisional data shows this remains similar, with a rate of 106 for employees and 147 for self-employed workers.

Employees consistently accounted for more than four-fifths (varies between 81 to 87 percent) of all work-related claims each year between 2002 and 2015. This proportion has been increasing gradually since 2002.

In 2015, HLFS estimated that employees/employers formed 90 percent of employed people. Employees made 86 percent of work-related claims in 2014, and provisional 2015 data shows an increase to 87 percent. While self-employed workers formed 10 percent of employed people (HLFS estimates), they made 14 percent of work-related claims in 2014, and 13 percent in 2015 provisionally.

All regions show downward trend in claims

Incidence rates decreased overall throughout the regions between 2002 and 2015. However, the decrease has slowed since 2012 and in recent years we can see slight increases in some regions.

Data for the four largest regions (Auckland, Waikato, Wellington, and Canterbury) shows the declining trend. However, we also see a slight rise in incidence rate in Waikato in 2012, and the effect of the 2011 Canterbury earthquakes can be seen for the region in the 2011 data – when the incidence rate rose to 129.

Graph, Incidence rate of work-related injury claims, by selected geographic retion, 2002 to 2015.

The number of claims by workers in all regions declined overall between 2002 and 2015, consistent with how overall trend numbers have been falling. However, provisional data for 2015 shows an increase in claims for the Auckland region – from 64,900 in 2014 to 67,800 in 2015. This is the only region showing an increase in number of claims since the start of the trend, but this could change when the 2015 data is finalised.

The biggest difference in the number of claims has been in the Otago and Southland region. In 2002 there were 24,800 claims in this region, which decreased to 18,900 claims in 2014 and provisionally 19,300 in 2015 data. Despite having one of the country's smaller populations, this region had the fourth-highest number of claims in both 2014 and 2015, and an incidence rate of 128 claims per 1,000 FTEs in 2015.

For more detailed data see the Excel tables in the 'Downloads' box.

Page updated 7 December 2016, see Corrections for details.

  • Share this page to Facebook
  • Share this page to Twitter
  • Share this page to Google+
Top
  • Share this page to Facebook
  • Share this page to Twitter
  • Share this page to Google+