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Wednesday, 3 June 1970

Mr Clyde Cameron (HINDMARSH, SOUTH AUSTRALIA) asked the Minister for Labour and National Service, upon notice:

(1)   How many wage or salary earners were employed in each State and Territory each year since 1950.

(2)   What was the number of (a) deaths, (b) injuries and (c) lost man-weeks caused by industrial accidents in each State and Territory during the same period.

Mr Snedden - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

The industrial accident statistics sought are set out in the following tables taken direct from published State statistics from 1950 or the first year thereafter for which they are available. A note on the statistical basis is given in each case, but for full particulars of the scope and nature of the figures, reference must be made to the separate State publications. Because of the differences in compensation law and practice among the States, it is not possible to obtain national totals on a consistent basis through a collation of the State figures. No information is available for the Australian Capital Territory or the Northern Territory.

The figures quoted in the tables for wage and salary earners exclude defence forces, employees in agriculture and private domestic service. They cannot be taken as showing necessarily the persons covered by legislation on workers' compensation.

Estimates of wage and salary earners in civilian employment are revised after each population census. Particulars for periods prior to the census of June 1954 arc not available on a basis comparable with that of later periods, and owing to the adoption of a new definition of the labour force at the census of June 1965 the figures shown for the years 1954 to 1965 are not comparable with those of 1966 and later years.


(a)   All figures taken from New South Wales Workers Compensation reports. They include accidents occurring in the courseof employment, accidents on journey to or from employment and compensable diseases, but exclude cases of less than 3-days' incapacity.

(b)   New cases reported.

(c)   For cases compensated by weekly payments, in respect of which no lump-sum payment is made.

(d)   Figures prior to 1954 not available on basis comparable with that forlater periods.

(e)   New definition of labour force adopted.

(f   ) New basis of reporting. Since July 1967, when a revised form for reporting compensation was introduced, it has been possible to distinguish cases originating in the current year from those earned forward from the previous year. This distinction was not made by the old form and statistics of new cases reported in the current year were, until the end of 1966- 67, deduced by subtracting cases shown in the previous year as unfinalised at the end of that year from cases reported in the current year. The method of compilation used before 1967- 68, is known to have resulted in some understatement of new cases, mainly because of errors in reporting finalisation of cases (particularly those involving a fatality) first reported in an earlier year. Statistics for 1967-68, compiled on the new basis, provide a more accurate measure of new compensation cases reported in the year, but are not strictly comparable with those shown for earlier years.






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