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Analysis of the impact of job tenure on workplace injury rates

Background

Previous analysis in 2000 showed that job tenure had a significant impact on workplace injury rates with those new to their jobs being more at risk of injury1. Age and hours of work were also significant. This report updates that analysis using more up-to-date Labour Force Survey (LFS) data.

Approach

Injury rates for workers who have been working for less than a year have been annualized (i.e. for workers who have been working for 3 months their annualized rate is 4 times their actual rate). This allows comparisons to be made across the different job tenure bands. No adjustment needs to be made for workers who have worked for longer than a year as the LFS only asks about injuries in the previous 12 months. A similar adjusted injury rate has also been calculated for the usual hours of work, that standardizes the hours worked to 39.5 to be consistent with the previous analysis.

Results

The tables below show the results for age, job tenure and usual hours worked breakdowns. The estimates are based on a three year pooled dataset containing 2005/06, 2006/07 & 2007/08. Corresponding charts are shown in the annex.

The injury rates are expressed per 100,000 workers. The "95% C.I." column in the tables shows the 95% confidence interval around the estimate. For example, the rate for the 16-24 year old group is estimated to be 1216 per 100,000 workers plus or minus 170.

All Workplace2 & Reportable3 Injury Rates by Age (05/06 - 07/08)

  Reportable injury All workplace injury
Age band Rate 95% C.I. Rate 95% C.I.
16-24 1216 170 3575 290
25-34 958 116 2886 200
35-44 1022 101 2851 169
45-54 1083 112 3120 187
55-59/64 1025 141 2919 237
60/65-74 889 230 2088 344
75+ * * * *

* sample cases too low to produce an estimate

This shows that the youngest workers (those aged under 25) have the highest injury rates.

All Workplace & Reportable (Annualised) Injury Rates by Job Tenure (05/06 - 07/08)

  Reportable injury All workplace injury
Job tenure Rate 95% C.I. Rate 95% C.I.
Less than 6 months 3316 638 9861 1113
Between 6 months and 1 year 1023 236 3821 447
Between 1 and 5 year 1084 95 3092 162
5+ years 973 72 2829 123

This shows that the injury rate for those who have been in their current job for less than six months is three times higher than those with longer experience. As the further analysis by industry below shows (which uses data up to 2010/11), this effect is seen across all sectors.

Job Tenure Industry † Estimated All Workplace Injury Incidence Rate * per 100,000 Workers (2006/07 - 2010/11)
central 95% C.I.
lower upper
Less than 6 months Production 5030 2870 7190
Construction 10800 7050 14560
Services 5590 4630 6550
Public Sector 4360 3130 5580
Total 8270 7400 9150
Between 6 months and 1 year Production 4170 2950 5390
Construction 4150 2770 5530
Services 2800 2370 3220
Public Sector 2560 1930 3190
Total 3320 2970 3670
Between 1 and 5 year Production 3660 3250 4060
Construction 3370 2880 3860
Services 2270 2110 2430
Public Sector 2460 2240 2680
Total 2680 2560 2800
5+ years Production 2930 2680 3180
Construction 3440 3070 3810
Services 2000 1870 2120
Public Sector 2630 2470 2800
Total 2540 2450 2630

* Injury rates for workers who have been working for less than a year have been annualized (i.e. for workers who have been working for 3 months their annualised rate is 4 times their actual rate). This allows comparisons to be made across the different job tenure bands. No adjustment needs to be made for workers who have worked for longer than a year as the LFS only asks about injuries in the previous 12 months.

†Industry Groupings (SIC 2007):

All Workplace & Reportable (Standardized to 39.5 Hours) Injury Rates by Job Tenure (05/06 - 07/08)

  Reportable injury All workplace injury
Usual hours Rate 95% C.I. Rate 95% C.I.
Less than 16 1888 482 6017 857
Between 16 and 29 1330 211 3905 364
Between 30 and 49 1085 70 3075 118
Between 50 and 59 867 139 2705 248
60 or more 565 138 2083 265

Part-time workers, particularly those working less than 16 hours per week have a higher chance of having a workplace injury.

Background about the Labour Force Survey

The Labour Force Survey (LFS) is a national survey of over 50 000 households each quarter which provides information on the UK labour market. The Heath and Safety Executive commissions annual questions in the LFS to gain a view of work-related illness and workplace injury based on individuals' perceptions.

The LFS survey data is used to make inferences about the whole population. When data obtained from a sample is used in this way, there is an element of sampling error, or uncertainty, about the sample estimate. Confidence intervals (C.I.) represent the range of uncertainty resulting from the estimate being derived from a sample of people, not the entire population. They are calculated in such a way that the range has a 95% chance of including the true value in the absence of bias - that is the value that would have been obtained if the entire population had been surveyed.

All workplace injuries include all those sustained as a result of a non-road traffic accident, not just reportable injuries resulting in over 3 days of absence from work.

One way of increasing the reliability of survey data is to increase the sample size. Five years worth of data has been pooled to achieve this, 2006/07 - 2010/11

Annex - supporting charts

All workplace and reportable injury rates by age

All workplace and reportable injury rates by age

Annualised all workplace and reportable injury rates by job tenure

Annualised all workplace and reportable injury rates by job tenure

All workplace and reportable injury rates standardized to 39.5 hour week by usual hours of work

All workplace and reportable injury rates standardized to 39.5 hour week by usual hours of work

Estimated all workplace injury incidence rate* per 100,000 workers (2006/07 - 2010/11)

Estimated all workplace injury incidence rate* per 100,000 workers (2006/07 - 2010/11)

Footnotes

  1. Trends and context to rates of workplace injury
  2. All workplace injuries include all those sustained as a result of a non-road traffic accident, regardless
  3. Reportable workplace injuries include all those sustained as a result of a non-road traffic accident, resulting in over 3 days of absence from work
Updated 2014-10-27