Australia's Respiratory Disease, Hearing Loss Incidence Declining

Safe Work Australia released its Occupational Disease Indicators, 2014 report this month, and it shows encouraging progress in several measures.

Safe Work Australia's new Occupational Disease Indicators, 2014 report contains mostly good news. It showed the rate of workers' compensation claims for noise-induced hearing loss rose from 391 claims per million employees in 2006-07 to 627 in 2009-10 but fell to 540 claims per million employees in 2010-11, the latest year available. Also, the rate of workers' compensation claims for all respiratory diseases fell from 143 per million employees between 2000-01 to 73 in 2010-11, with asbestosis claims significantly down, although asthma claims have remained relatively stable between 2004-05 and 2010-11.

Musculoskeletal disorder claims declined by 31 percent between 2000-01 and 2010-11. In addition, the rate of workers' compensation claims for occupational cancers decreased from a peak of 66 claims per million employees in 2003-04 to a low of 48 in 2008-09 and has remained relatively stable since.

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