Recently SafeWork Australia released a statistical report comparing injury rates between shift workforces as compared to non-shift workers spanning a variety of different industries administered in 2013-2014. The report demonstrates the injury rate for shift workers is significantly higher (more than twice the rate) when compared to non-shift workers. The increase in incidence of injury did not span across all shift-working industries. Individuals who operate machinery and drivers had significantly lower rates of injury when compared to their shift-working counterparts in other lines of work. So what shift workers are at the greatest risk? High risk shift industries as being; manufacturing, hospitality/food services, public administration and trades/labourers.
Are Shift Workers At Risk? The SafeWork Australia report demonstrates that the injury rate for shift workers is significantly higher (more than twice the rate) when compared to non-shift workers.
This increase in incidence of injury did not span through all shift-working industries. Those who operated machinery and drivers had significantly lower rates of injury when compared to their shift-working counterparts in other lines of work. Those industries identified with significantly greater incidences of injury were as follows;
- Sex: both male and female workers
- Hospitality and food services
- Public administration and safety
- Manually intensive workforce: Trades, technicians and labourers
Of these industries, those living in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and South Australia presented greater rates of injury.
Unfortunately, significantly larger percentages of shift workers, under report injuries and/or do not apply for Worker’s compensation due to the concerns of perception or inconvenience. Delayed reporting quite often allows for current injuries to become significantly worse over time and dramatically increase the propensity for that injury to recur at a later date.
Evidence suggests that the sooner an injury is identified and treated, the greater the outcomes in relation to an improved rate of healing and substantially less recurrence of re-aggravation and re-injury.
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Source: SafeWork Australia
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