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WorkCover WA announces new CEO, claims drop stabilising

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WorkCover WA has appointed Chris White as CEO for five years. His term started last week.

Mr White has been acting CEO since January 2017, and has held a range of senior management roles, including implementing government workers’ compensation reform.

More than 26,300 claims were lodged with WorkCover WA in the 2018-19 financial year, decreasing only slightly from the 26,857 in the previous year, according to its annual scheme trends report.

The slight drop is a sign that a significant decrease in the number of claims lodged with WorkCover WA over the last five years is starting to stabilise, the agency says. The number of claims lodged fell 15% over five years.

That drop was attributed to Western Australia’s changing economic climate.

Sixty per cent of total claims were lost-time claims, and long duration claims of 60 days or more off work account for 38% of the total number of lost-time claims. However, workers with 10 days or more off work showed a 75% return to work rate, reflecting efforts to return people to sustainable employment, the agency says.

Total claims payments amounted to $901 million, including $347 million in income payments and $246 million in lump sum payments. About 84% of all disputes were solved within six months.

The highest number of lost-time claims were in manufacturing, agriculture, and arts and recreation.