Dramatic drop in compensation claims

The number and cost of workers' compensation claims received by Brighton Council continues to drop, reflecting greater emphasis on safety awareness within the organisation.

In 1990, the Council received about 23 claims and paid out approximately $123,000. These claims resulted in the loss of approximately 850 work days.

In 1991, the number of work days lost as a result of claims dropped to just over 200, and at the same time, the number of claims dropped to approximately 18, costing under $40,000.

Although the number of claims, work days lost, and costs associated with claims have both risen and dropped at various times since 1991, there has been a consistent drop in all three areas since 1997. In fact, in 1999, Council paid less than $10,000 in workers' compensation claims as a result of recording only five claims.

General Manager Geoff Dodge said the significant drop was the result of new safety policies and Council's commitment to the provision of a safe work environment for all staff. He said the Council's proactive Occupational Health and Safety Committee, comprising Council staff, had also played a vital role in turning around the situation.

"This committee has been proactive in the investigation of accidents, and has taken considerable measures to ensure that incidents are not repeated,'' Geoff Dodge said. "The group has also worked to ensure the introduction of internal policies making staff aware of their health and safety responsibilities.

"As a result of these factors, there has been a distinct change in culture within the organisation. "Staff are much more conscious of safety issues than they have been in the past.

"While our claims have dropped, insurance premiums have remained the same. However, due to the increasing cost of all types of liability insurance, the fact that our premiums have not increased at the same rate as other business' is encouraging.''

For further information contact Geoff Dodge, telephone (03) 6224 8044