Safe Work Australia produces several reports that provide information on the circumstances of work-related deaths in Australia. The most up-to-date figures are available on the Safe Work Australia's online worker fatalities statistics page. However, as these are based on initial media reports they are only a preliminary estimate. Work-related status cannot be confirmed until the death is investigated by the appropriate authority.
The Monthly Notifiable Fatality report provides a summary of work-related traumatic fatalities that were notifiable to Australian work health and safety jurisdictions. As each monthly report contains updated information for the preceding months (in the calendar year) only the most recent report is available. The monthly summary data are released four months after the reference month.
The most comprehensive source of information on work-related injury fatalities can be found in the Work-related Traumatic Injury Fatalities reports. These reports are based on information from a number of sources (workers’ compensation data, coronial information, notifiable fatalities and the media) and are available one year after the reference period. The reports provide details on the number of people and the characteristics of those people who die in Australia from injuries sustained while working and details on bystanders who are killed as a result of another person’s work activity. Reports up to 2010–11 also contain information on fatalities that occurred while travelling to and from work.
Other work-related Fatality reports
The Compendium of Workers’ Compensation Statistics report includes a chapter on compensated fatalities. As this publication relies on workers’ compensation claims it is known to understate the actual number of workers who die from work-related activities each year but it provides a good source of information on the circumstances that result in a fatality. The fatality figures also include counts of those where compensation was paid for a disease-related fatality.
A comprehensive study undertaken in 2014, visit Work-related fatalities associated with unsafe design of machinery, plant and powered tools, 2006 – 2011.
Safe Work Australia has also released a special report containing detailed information on fatalities that occurred on Australian farms: Work-related Injuries and Fatalities on Australian Farms report.
A comparison was undertaken of injury fatalities that occurred in Australia over the period 1998 to 2001 with selected high performing countries. The report Fatal Occupational Injuries - How does Australia compare internationally? shows that Australia had the seventh best fatality incidence rate. An updated international comparison can be found in the Progress Against Targets Information Sheet.
A comprehensive study of coronial records was conducted to identify all work-related deaths that occurred from 1989 to 1992. A series of reports were compiled using these data.
Falls from height
Safe Work Australia has released a special report containing a detailed analysis of workers’ compensation claims for serious injuries incurred while working at height: Work-related injuries and fatalities involving a fall from height, Australia.