26 September 2023

Wages suffer when workers injured

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Wage growth across Victoria and the country could increase by 1.3 per cent each year if workers weren’t injured on the job according to a new report from Safe Work Australia.

Releasing the report Safer, healthier, wealthier: The economic value of reducing work-related injuries and illnesses, Chief Executive of Safe Work, Michelle Baxter said the report provided an innovative way of quantifying the direct effects work health and safety had on Australia’s economy.

Ms Baxter said the report, commissioned from a consultant, explored the cost of work-related injury and illness and estimated how much value could be created within the economy by removing work-related injuries and illnesses.

She said the first of its kind report found Australia’s economy would be $28.6 billion larger each year and 185,500 more jobs would be created in the absence of work-related injuries and illnesses.

“In addition, Australian wages would increase by an average of 1.3 per cent each year,” Ms Baxter said.

“The significance of these impacts cannot be overstated,” she said.

“To put it in perspective, the potential economic gain is nearly equivalent to the annual economic contribution of the agriculture industry in Australia.”

Ms Baxter said the findings clearly demonstrated that work health and safety was critical to the country’s prosperity, driving economic and productivity improvements.

She said workplaces that were safe and free of injury and illness provided benefits for all Australians, including more jobs and better pay.

“I consider this research provides a strong platform for Safe Work Australia and other policy makers to change the conversation from ‘how’ to do health and safety, to ‘why’ we do health and safety,” the CEO said.

Safe Work’s 29-page Report can be accessed at this PS News link.

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