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Accident rates in the trades
Introduction

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.

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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 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.

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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.

Conclusion

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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Accidents by age

See how accident rates compare across age groups in trade sectors