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Accident rates in the trades
Key findings

To develop and implement strategies that reduce accident rates in the trades, it is important to understand the current contributing factors to accidents. There are more ACC claims per 100 workers by men than women, suggesting that being a man is a risk factor in having an accident in the workplace. Attracting more women to the trades may therefore lead to safer work environments. Current training programmes at ITOs have surprisingly shown to increase the probability of having an accident, although it is unclear about the severity of the ACC claims. The impact of ITO training may require further investigation.

Introduction

Trade industries aim to make their workplaces as safe as possible. Understanding the risk factors for having an accident in the workplace can assist with developing strategies for increasing workplace safety. Similarly, this information can be used to understand how training programmes are impacting workplace safety in the trades.

This report compares men and women and their ACC claims. In addition, it investigates the effect of ITO training, although this area may require further investigation.

ACC claims by men and women

In all sectors investigated, where data is available, women make fewer ACC claims per 100 workers per year than men. On average, men make over twice as many claims as women. This presents a possible advantage of attracting more women into the trades. Having a higher proportion of women in the workplace would bring the expected claims per 100 workers down.

Of the three ITOs investigated, they show similar levels of ACC claims by both men and women. The differences between the organisations likely reflects the nature of the industry they provide training for rather than their training programmes.

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Methodology

Workers in each trade sector are identified using the 2013 census. Only those in trade roles are included. Work-related ACC claims made by these workers within three years before or after the census. Because the census only gives a workforce at a point in time, we must choose a window around the census that is large enough to contain a significant number of claims, but small enough that not too many of the claims are made while the worker is in a different industry.

Effect of ITO training

Tradespeople that 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. This may indicate the claims correspond to less serious accidents. One explanation for this is that ITO-trained workers make claims for smaller accidents that otherwise are ignored by untrained workers.

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Methodology

Workers under 30 years of age in each trade sector are identified using the 2013 census. Only those in trade roles are included. Work-related ACC claims made by these workers within three years before or after the census. Because the census only gives a workforce at a point in time, we must choose a window around the census that is large enough to contain a significant number of claims, but small enough that not too many of the claims are made while the worker is in a different industry.

We determined whether each worker had received any training with an ITO relevant to their sector before the time of the census. Only workers under 30 years of age were included as complete ITO records only go back to 2003 so we cannot be sure of the training history of older workers.

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Accidents by age

See how accident rates compare across age groups in trade sectors

health & safety Gender Trades Accident rates ACC Women in Trades