Developing Critical Numeracy Across the Curriculum

Teaching Activity

Injuries in the workplace

What does it mean to work safely?
8/9 Stage: 11/12
with emphasis on:

Maths Concepts: Number, graphing
Context: Health and Wellbeing, Society
Critical Numeracy: De-coding, meaning-making, Using
Date of Article:19/01/08, pg 9
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Student Worksheet
Student worksheet answers

Teacher Guidelines:

This article raises questions about the number of injuries that are occurring in the workplace and the type of injuries. Can these be avoided? How do they occur? Are the payouts really sufficient compensation? What might be the cost to the community? This article could be used to raise awareness about safe practices at school.

Orienting questions

What does it mean to work safely?

If students haven't done percentages for some time they might need to brainstorm what they know in terms of determining a percentage, and working out percentage increases.


We ask students to extract some data from the article to put into tables and then calculate percentages.


Students create graphs from the data and describe what they see.


We ask the students to work out percentage increase of the payout to injured workers in order to evaluate whether it is a significant increase.  How significant is the increase in workplace injuries?

Can the students come up with suggestions about how to reduce the number of workplace injuries - perhaps creating an advert using the information they have uncovered.


Do a safety audit of the school and look at what activities are likely to cause injury. Find out how many students are injured per week, the type of injury, the severity and what caused it. What could students do to make their school safer?

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