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Wednesday, 16 August 1972
Page: 140

Senator WRIGHT - On 16th May Senator Bishop asked me the following question without notice:

My question, which I direct to the Minister representing the Minister for Labour and National Service, refers to lack of uniformity in the compilation and reporting of industrial accident statistics, a situation which has been known for some years. I ask: Is it a fact that the Department of Labour and National Service and other departments have reported this situation to the Commonwealth Government and to other governments? What action is now being taken to correct this bad position which impedes any improvement in the compilation of statistics of accidents on the job?

In the course of my reply I said that I would get further information for the honourable senator about the compilation of industrial accident statistics. The Minister for Labour and National Service has provided me with this information as follows:

Statistics of industrial accidents are compiled by the Deputy Commonwealth Statisticians in each State from reports of work injuries compensated under the workers' compensation legislation of the various States. Within any one State the compilation and reporting of industrial accidents is on a uniform basis and the published figures are used for safety promotion by the various authorities concerned with protection of the workers.

Because of the differences in compensation legislation of the various States and differences in systems of administration and methods of collection, the published figures cannot be combined to provide national totals on a uniform basis, lt is not considered possible to achieve a completely uniform basis between States, but the Commonwealth Statistician has taken steps towards making the basis as comparable as possible. A Working Party representative of the Commonwealth and State Labour Departments and the Commonwealth Statistician has provided estimates of national totals for fatalities and lost time industrial accidents of one day and over for the years 1967-68' and 1968-69 using as a basis the published figures of the various States and special tabulations arranged by the Statistician. These estimates have been incorporated in Press statements made by the Minister for National Service on 28th May 1970 and 15th September 1971. I am arranging for copies of these statements to be sent to the honourable senator.

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