Nearly 3000 workers hurt on Sunshine Coast in two years

TWO workers died and 2860 people were hurt on the job in just two years on the Sunshine Coast.

An APN Newsdesk analysis of Safe Work Australia workers' compensation claim data reveals office workers are at highest risk of injury in our region.

Two people working in the professional sector died in Caloundra in 2012-13.

In the same year, 1485 others were hurt at Sunshine Coast workplaces.

While there were no workplace deaths in 2013-14, it was still an unsafe 12 months, with 1375 workers injured.

The highest number of claims came from the clerical, sales and service sector, with 1195 lodged, while the professional sector made 820 claims.

Tradies came in third, with 385 compo claims submitted.

Safe Work Australia says on-the-job injuries leave a $60.6 billion hole in the nation's economy each year.

Allison Hutton, one of the country's leading experts in workplace health and safety, said the death and injury tolls were too high.

"Health and safety has to remain a very high concern for employers," the CQUniversity OHS and accident forensics academic said.

"There were close to 118,000 serious injury claims (Australia-wide) in the 2012-13 financial year.

"If you look at the numbers, they're scary, but you can also see an improvement over the last 20 years."

Ms Hutton said a new generation of safety-conscious leaders could turn the tide on workplace deaths and injuries.

"In the last couple of years, we've seen a lot of school-leavers coming into the Bachelor of Occupational Health and Safety programs, and that's partly because they've grown up with the concepts of safety," she said.

"(It's) the beginnings of a generational shift where you've got a lot of young people coming through thinking about safety, and that's going to be a huge change."

BY THE NUMBERS

Sunshine Coast compensation claims:

Type, 2012-13, 2013-14

Injuries: 1485, 1375

Fatalities: 2, 0

The top-three injury claims by sector:

Sector, 2012-13, 2013-14

Clerical, sales and service workers: 635, 560

Professionals: 395, 425

Tradespersons and related workers: 200, 185

Source: Safe Work Australia


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