The Burden of Occupational Disease and Injury in New Zealand: Technical Report
5. Estimates of Burden
This chapter provides quantitative estimates of:
- the annual number of deaths from occupational disease and injury in New Zealand
- the annual number of new cases of work-related disease and injury.
In relation to the number of deaths, the use of estimates reflects a lack of robust data in New Zealand. Recent data on deaths from occupational injury is imprecise, and that on deaths from occupational disease even more so.
With this in mind, this chapter presents a range of estimates based on a variety of assumptions, rather than one "best" estimate. Nevertheless, the findings are striking, particularly given the fact that the estimates are likely to understate the true situation, and that even major changes in the assumptions would not affect the results significantly.
The estimates are that each year in New Zealand there are:
- about 700-1,000 deaths from occupational disease
- about 100 deaths from occupational injury
- 17,000-20,000 new cases of work-related disease
- about 200,000 occupational injuries resulting in ACC claims.
This clearly represents a major burden to New Zealand in terms of death, disease and injury.