Work-related incidents in Australia higher for men

Work-related incidents in Australia higher for men

Protecting your income is not something every Australian thinks about, but according to recent research - it should be a serious consideration for workers in Australia.

If you were to sustain a workplace injury, the last thing that you'd be thinking of would be your potentially lost income. However, once the stitches are in or the cast has been set, you may find yourself starting to wonder what you are going to do while you are laid up for a bit.

A minor injury at work may only require a few days to mend and you could get back to it in no time. You'll probably even have enough sick leave or annual leave to cover your absence and ensure continued financial support for your family.

Although, what if you're seriously hurt? What if you require ongoing treatment and are unable to work? Would your family be able to pay the bills if you lost your income? Unfortunately for too many Australians, situations like this are a reality.

According to data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) on November 19, over half a million Australians experienced a workplace injury or illness in the 12 months to June 2014.

Where are these injuries concentrated?

The ABS data reveals that men are more likely to be injured at work than women, with 61 per cent of injuries occurring to males.

"Similar to previous years, men had a higher rate of work-related injuries than women. In 2013-14, this was driven by the large number of injuries sustained by men working in the manufacturing and construction industries," said Stephen Collett of the ABS in a November 19 release.

The industries with highest incidences of injury were 'Manufacturing', 'Transport, postal and warehousing' (76 per 1,000 employed persons) and 'Agriculture, forestry and fishing' (72 per 1,000). About one third of work-related injuries were sustained by shift workers.

Geographically, Tasmania recorded the highest injury rate (66 per 1,000), while New South Wales recorded the lowest (37 per 1,000).

Running your own business

While almost every worker in Australia relies on their income to meet their day-to-day needs and to support their families, those that run their own businesses are particularly vulnerable when it comes to injuries and time off work.

If you are a owner manager or a contractor and you can't go to work, not only does your wallet suffer but so does your business.

Of the 531,800 who were injured at work, around 10 per cent were owner managers. That is 53,900 people, according to the ABS data.

According to the Australian government initiative Moneysmart, income protection is especially important for those that generate their own source of income. Although Moneysmart recommends insurance for all people who rely on their income, it says that it is particularly suited to those that own their own business or are self-employed.

How do I protect myself?

Lifestyle insurance from is a great place to start and can be implemented in a policy for just yourself or jointly with your partner.

A policy such as this would make sure you are protected if you lost your income due to involuntary unemployment. This allows you to have something to tide you over until you are able to work again.

A lump sum pay out can also be had from policies like this if you suffer a debilitating injury that prevents you from working.

While it is important to insure your income to be sure you are covered in times of need, it is also imperative to implement safe work practices to avoid injury or disability resulting from workplace incidents. While the injury figures for Australian workers are high, they are fortunately decreasing, and have dropped 2.1 per cent in the last 8 years.

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