Safe Work Australia has released a new report which provides the latest figures on work-related fatalities, injuries and disease in Australia.
The ‘Key Work Health and Safety Statistics Australia’ 2019 report is a high-level overview of national statistics on work-related fatalities, injuries and disease. This includes trends, gender and age comparisons, and industry and occupation breakdowns for work health and safety in Australia.
Data for the report is drawn from a variety of sources including: initial reporting of fatalities in the media or on relevant authority websites such as police, road authorities and the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, notifications to Safe Work Australia from the jurisdictional authorities, and the National Coronial Information System which provides confidential access to coroners’, police and other investigative reports.
The report indicates that in 2018, 144 people were fatally injured at work. 136 of those fatally injured workers were male and 8 were female.
The number and rate of worker fatalities have continued to decline in line with long-term trends. However, Safe Work Australia CEO, Michelle Baxter, said that while these trends are encouraging, they are not a cause for celebration.
“Every work-related fatality is a tragedy, and there’s a lot more work to be done,” Ms Baxter commented.
“We know that work-related fatalities, injuries and disease have a devastating impact on workers and their families. Understanding the latest statistics can help identify ways to prevent these,” she added.
Below are some key figures which may be of interest to the industry:
- Per state/territory, New South Wales had the highest number of recorded work-related injury fatalities in 2018 (47), with Queensland (39) and Victoria (32) following close behind.
- ‘Vehicle Collision’ was the mechanism which had the highest number of work-related injury fatalities (44) in 2018. Some other high listings were: ‘Being hit by moving objects’ (24), ‘Falls from height’ (18) and ‘Being hit by falling objects’ (7).
- Among industries, ‘Agriculture, forestry and fishing’ had the most work-related fatalities in 2018 (a total of 37), ‘Transport, postal and warehousing’ was second with 38 work-related fatalities and ‘Mining’ was third with 9 fatalities in 2018.
- ‘Machinery Operators and Drivers’ was recorded as having the highest number of work-related injury fatalities by occupation in 2018 (a total of 51). Other top listings were: ‘Labourers’ (36), ‘Technicians and Trades Workers’ (27) and ‘Managers’ (16).
- Furthermore, the rate of serious workers’ compensation claims continued to trend downwards, with the frequency rate falling to 5.5 serious claims per million hours worked in 2017-18.
Safe Work Australia’s ‘Key Work Health and Safety Statistics Australia’ 2019 report can be found online here.