Work-Related Causes of Hospitalisation

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Work-Related Causes of Hospitalisation

01/07/2013

Safe Work Australia has released a new report on work-related injuries resulting in hospitalisation. The study involved over 73,000 such cases over three years (2006 to 2009).

As expected, it found overall males are hospitalised far more often (86%) compared to females (14%) as a result of work-related injury.

Interestingly, it also found female workers are twice as likely as males to be hospitalised after a fall. The report provides some detail as to the type of falls e.g. slips & trips, falling on stairs and falling from ladders, but does not explain why females suffer more serious injuries from falls.

Some other interesting findings from the report include:

  • The most common cause of injury (46%) was “exposure to inanimate mechanical forces”;
  • Falls represented 16% of hospitalisations;
  • Males were more likely to be injured falling from ladders (23%) compared to females (5%);
  • Struck by falling, thrown or projected object accounted for 6% of hospitalisations;
  • Slips & trips typically resulted in knee or lower leg injuries;
  • Females were most likely to be hospitalised from a fall in; retail stores (14%), schools (13%) and health service or hospitality environments (11%);
  • Males hospitalised due to falls were most likely working at construction sites;
  • 27% of hospitalisations were for fractures;
  • 18% of injuries involved open wounds;
  • 12% of injuries were the result of muscle and tendon injuries;
  • The majority (70%) of work-related injuries only involved one day in hospital, while 2% required more than 15 days.

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