Lauren Reed

Gympie workers the safest in the country

GYMPIE workers are among the country's safest.

An APN Newsdesk analysis of Work Safe Australia data shows the region was one of the few local government areas to have no injury or fatality compensation claims accepted in the 2012-13 and 2013-14 financial years.

While we might be good at staying healthy on the job, one of the country's leading experts in workplace health and safety says OHS should always be a top priority.

"Health and safety has to remain a very high concern for employers," CQUniversity OHS and accident forensics academic Allison Hutton said.

"There were close to 118,000 serious injury claims (Australia-wide) in the 2012-13 financial year. If you look at the numbers, they're scary, but you can also see an improvement over the last 20 years."

Ms Hutton said a new generation of safety-conscious leaders could turn the tide on workplace deaths and injuries.

"In the last couple of years, we've seen a lot of school-leavers coming into the Bachelor of Occupational Health and Safety programs, and that's partly because they've grown up with the concepts of safety," she said. "(It's) the beginnings of a generational shift where you've got a lot of young people coming through thinking about safety, and that's going to be a huge change."

Safe Work Australia says on-the-job injuries left a $60.6 billion hole in the nation's economy each year.

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