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Injury Statistics – Work-related Claims: 2015
Embargoed until 10:45am  –  28 November 2016
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 has not changed between releases.

Period-specific information

Reference period

This release contains provisional statistics for work-related claims for injuries in the 2015 calendar year. It also includes final statistics for injuries in the 2014 calendar year. Both of these are as reported by 15 August 2016.

Changes since the last release

Household Labour Force Survey (HLFS) redevelopment

In 2016, the HLFS underwent a redevelopment, which has led to an overall increase in full-time equivalent (FTE) estimates. These FTE estimates are used to calculate the incidence rates in this release and it is expected that some rates will be lower because of the change. This needs to be taken into consideration when using rates from the release, as a decrease in rate may be due to the HLFS redevelopment rather than a real-life effect.

Due to the new FTE estimates from the HLFS we have revised incidence rates back to 2002

See HLFS redevelopment effect on incidence rates for more information

Provisional data included in trends

In 2016, for the first time, the trends tables and commentary include provisional data. This has been done to assist users with their analysis. However, please remember that claims for injuries that occurred in 2015 are provisional and can still be updated and filed. Therefore, the latest data may change when the numbers are finalised.

Industry data for 2002-08

A problem was detected with the industry coding for 2002-08 data. Due to data quality concerns, we have stopped publishing industry estimates for the years affected until the problem can be corrected. This effects trends table 9. 

Claims involving entitlement payments by employment status

In 2016, for the first time, we have included a table for claims involving entitlement payments by employment status and sex. This has been produced for work-related injuries in 2015 and 2014. Previously, this table had been produced at the request of stakeholders but we've now added it into the release to make the data public. This is table numbered 13b.

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. The 2015 figures are provisional; final figures for 2015 will be published in 2017. Claims for fatal work-related injuries can take up to two years to be finalised.

Figures for the number of FTEs are sourced from the HLFS and are used to calculate incidence rates.

We also refer to figures from the 2013 Census and the HLFS within the commentary.

Accuracy of the data

Accredited Employers Programme (AEP) claims

To increase the accuracy of work-related injury statistics, we include AEP claims in this release. Before 2015 we excluded them because of perceived data quality issues. However, this resulted in undercounting, as AEP claims are a substantial proportion of work-related claims.

There are known data quality issues with these types of claims and we are reviewing this to improve future submissions from accredited employers to ACC.


Age specifies an injured person's age at the date of injury. It is calculated using date of birth. This age may differ from the worker's age when the claim is lodged, the age when compensation is received, or the age at death (if the worker dies of the injury).

We group data on work-related injuries for people aged 14 years and under 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 were less than 1 percent of total claims.

Body site of injury reporting

The body site of the injury for claims submitted through ACC’s Accredited Employer Programme has been categorised as ‘unobtainable’ due to data quality issues.

Claims involving treatment at hospital emergency departments

Treatment lasting less than three hours, and provided at a hospital emergency department (ED), is bulk funded by ACC directly to the district health boards (DHBs) and is not recorded against individual claims. As a result, claims involving treatment provided at the ED for less than three hours are not included in this release.

Ethnic group reporting

Ethnic group reporting 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, a person who identifies as being 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 the sum of the ethnic groups is greater than the number of people. However, it also means 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 can be reported for each claim. Any further ethnic groups reported are put in the 'other' ethnicity category. 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 ethnicity of people who submitted a claim through ACC’s Accredited Employer Programme is categorised as ‘not specified’ due to data quality issues.

Fatal claims

Fatal accidents are referred to Coronial Services to determine the cause of death. The cause of death is official only when the coroner publishes their finding, which can take up to two years.

The assessment of a fatal claim requires the coroner to determine the cause of death because in some cases, an underlying medical condition such as a heart attack may be the cause of the accident and therefore the claim is not covered under ACC legislation. The coroner can take up to two years to review a specific case before ACC can make a final decision. A fatal claim in 2015 may therefore only be finalised in 2017 and will only be included in the 2015 statistics if the claim was finalised in time for reporting to Statistics NZ.

Full-time equivalent employees

Because we derive FTE numbers from a sample survey (the HLFS), they 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

On 31 March 2015, the HLFS underwent a population rebase that revised the statistical series back to the beginning of the series. A population rebase is done to update the weights used in the survey, based on the population counts from the most-recent census. In this rebase we also introduced regional benchmarks, to improve the quality of regional estimates used in the HLFS.

Incidence rates in this release are calculated using FTE estimates from the HLFS as the denominator. The new FTE estimates from the HLFS resulted in revisions to incidence rates back to 2002 for the release in October 2015, which are now included in the work-related claim releases.

See HLFS population rebase for more information on the effects.

HLFS redevelopment effect on incidence rates

In 2016, the HLFS underwent a redevelopment – the biggest substantial change to the survey since it started in 1985. The redevelopment improved the derivation of usual hours worked. Overall this has increased the number of full-time employees, and decreased the number of part-time employees, as the imputation works in favour of assigning people to full-time work. This has caused an increase in full-time equivalent (FTE) estimates overall. FTE estimates are used as the denominator for calculating the incidence rates in this release. Due to the increase in the denominator, we expect that some rates will decrease, which will be seen in some groups more than others. This needs to be taken into consideration when using any rates from the release, as a decrease in rate may be due to the HLFS redevelopment rather than a real-life effect.

Due to the new FTE estimates from the HLFS we have revised incidence rates back to 2002.

2016 HLFS redevelopment has more information.

Industry incidence rates

Due to variation within the data, we do not currently recommend using HLFS industry estimates below Level 1 ANZSIC. This is the reason why we do not currently produce rates for agriculture, forestry, and fishing as separate industries.

Estimates of employment by industry are not benchmarked against any other real-world population estimates. Customers should take this into consideration when using industry incidence rates from this release.

Type of injury reporting

The type of injury for claims submitted through ACC’s Accredited Employer Programme has been categorised as ‘other and undefined’ due to data quality issues.


All percentages are calculated from unrounded data with the exception of percentages for fatal claims, which are calculated from rounded data.


To protect confidentiality, all fatal claim counts in the tables are randomly rounded using the standard Statistics NZ random rounding to base 3 method. In this method, we randomly round all up or down to one of the adjoining multiples of three (eg, a count of five would be displayed as either 3 or 6, and a count of one would be displayed as either 0 or 3). Non-fatal claim counts are rounded to the nearest hundred. Rounding may result in totals disagreeing slightly with the total of individual items shown in the tables.

Final figures

In this release, claims are included in the tables under the calendar year in which the injury occurred. For final figures, claims are only included if they were accepted by 15 August 2016. Claims for fatal work-related injuries can take up to two years to be finalised.

Some ACC claims for a given year may not be represented in the statistics for that year because of the date of reporting. Claims could be reported at a later date due to late submission or may be more complex and require specialist assessments that take time to determine whether the accident is covered by ACC. Therefore, the claim is only included in the data if it has been finalised in time for reporting to Statistics NZ. Otherwise, such claims are included in the statistics at a later date and may cause a slight change in estimates for the given year.

Consistency with other periods or datasets

Comparability with previous work-related claims releases

Due to the inclusion of AEP claims that were introduced in the data last year, and the HLFS rebase and the HLFS redevelopment, we do not recommend comparing the results from this release with any work-related claims releases published before October 2015. The trend data in this release has been back-dated to 2002 to include the changes.

Comparability with the serious injury outcome indicators

Data from ACC on work-related injury claims is also used for injury surveillance and monitoring through the serious injury outcome indicators (SIOI), which provide annual counts and rates for outcomes of serious injury in New Zealand.

For work-related injury, the SIOI present measures for fatal injuries, and serious non-fatal injuries (these are injuries which meet a certain threshold of severity). They also provide a serious injury indicator, which combines the fatal and serious non-fatal data. While the data used in the indicators has some similarities with the data used in this information release, there are some key differences:

  • The SIOI contain high-level figures, while this information release contains a more detailed breakdown of the data.
  • The work-related fatalities published in the SIOI publication include work-related fatalities notified to WorkSafe New Zealand or those for which an ACC claim was made.
  • The data is presented differently. This information release separates the data into all claims, entitlement claims, and fatal claims. The SIOI present counts and rates based on some injury outcomes (fatal or not fatal) for serious and fatal claims only.
  • The SIOI present data for fatal injuries as three-year moving averages, due to the small numbers. This information release publishes fatal data for single years, but uses random rounding on all numbers.

See Serious injury outcome indicator reports for more information.

Interpreting the data

Counting claims vs counting injuries

The data in this release is for claims for work-related injuries, and is 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 and are not included in the count of work-related fatalities for the year of death of the injured person.

Classifications used in the information release

Employment status

Employment status indicates whether a worker is self-employed (ie, working for themselves), or is an employee (working for another person or entity).

Employment status covers all those 'working for wages and salaries', including those working employers who belong to the ACC Accredited Employer Programme. The self-employed figures include those classified as 'self-employed and not employing others', but exclude those 'working without pay or profit in a family business'. While this differs from the definition in the HLFS, it corresponds closely to definitions used for workplace accident insurance.


The Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), New Zealand Version 2006, (Version 1.0) is used to classify each business by industry.


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

More information

Statistics in this release have been produced in accordance with the Official Statistics System principles and protocols for producers of Tier 1 statistics for quality. They conform to the Statistics NZ Methodological Standard for Reporting of Data Quality.


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.


Our information releases are delivered electronically by third parties. Delivery may be delayed by circumstances outside our control. Statistics NZ does not accept responsibility for any such delays.

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