Incidence rates for work health and safety incidents and injuries in Australian Army Reserve vs full time soldiers, and a comparison of reporting systems

Rodney R Pope, Rob Marc Orr

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Objective: To determine incidence rates of reported work health and safety (WHS) incidents and injuries in Army Reserve (ARES) and Australian Regular Army (ARA) personnel and assess the relative performance of the WHS incident reporting system, compared to ‘point-of-care’ systems. Methods: WHS incident data for a 24-month period were extracted from a military database. Reported WHS incident and injury rates for both populations were calculated and compared. The WHS injury rates were compared with previously published injury incidents rates based on ‘point-of-care’ incident reporting in Army populations to ascertain relative performance of WHS and ‘point-of-care’ systems. Results: In both populations combined, 15065 incidences (11263 injuries) were reported. The injury rates for ARES and ARA were, respectively, 31 and 17 injuries, per 100 person-years of active service. Published Army injury reports based on point-of-care injury reporting have cited much higher soldier injury incidence rates. Conclusion: Rates of ARES reported WHS incidents and injuries were higher than those of ARA personnel. There appears to be substantial under-reporting of WHS injury incidents on the military WHS database when compared to point-of-care incident reporting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-25
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Military and Veterans' Health
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017


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