Accident rates in the trades

Investigate how rates of ACC claims compare between men and women in the trade sectors

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Improving safety and reducing the number of accidents is an important goal for many trade industries. We find that women in trades make siginificantly fewer ACC claims than men, indicating that they have fewer accidents. The effect of ITO training on accidents is less clear and may require further investigation.

Effect of gender

Across every sector where data are available, women make fewer ACC claims than men. On average, men make over twice as many claims as women. We use the census definition of working in trades, so office and administration staff are excluded from these statistics.

This presents a potential advantage of attracting more women into trades. They will likely have fewer accidents than men, and having a larger proportion of women may shift practices to being more safe.

Effect of ITO training

Tradespeople who have had ITO training unexpectedly make more ACC claims than those who do not have training. On the other hand, the number of compensation days per claim is slightly lower for trained workers which may indicate the claims correspond to less serious accidents. One explanation for this is that ITO-trained workers make claims for smaller accidents that are ignored by untrained workers. 


The clearest conclusion is that women in the trades have fewer accidents than men. Attracting more women to the trades may therefore lead to safer work environments. The effect of ITO training on accidents is ambiguous and the simplest explanation of the data is that ITO-trained workers make claims for smaller accidents that may be ignored by untrained workers. The reasons for this are unclear and may relate to differences between businesses that employ apprentices and those that do not. 

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