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Work-related injury fatalities

Safe Work Australia compiles national statistics on work-related injury fatalities. These statistics are based on workers’ compensation data, fatality notifications from jurisdictions, the National Coronial Information System and the media. Work-related fatalities resulting from diseases, natural causes, suicides and the deaths of people undertaking criminal activity are excluded.

Trends in work-related injury fatalities, 2003 to 2016

A line graph showing the number of fatalities per year: 259 in 2003, 284 in 2004, 258 in 2005, 284 in 2006, 310 in 2007, 283 in 2008, 258 in 2009, 229 in 2010, 225 in 2011, 232 in 2012, 202 in 2013, 197 in 2014, 2011 in 2015 and 182 in 2016. The line graph also shows fatalities per 100,000 workers: 2.7 in 2003, 3.0 in 2004, 2.6 in 2005, 2.8 in 2006, 3.0 in 2007, 2.6 in 2008, 2.4 in 2009, 2.1 in 2010, 2.0 in 2012, 1.8 in 2013, 1.7 in 2014, 1.8 in 2015 and 1.5 in 2016. A pie chart showing that the fatality rate has decreased by 49 per cent from the peak in 2007.

Gender comparison, 2016

14 female and 168 male fatalities - 182 total. Fatality rate (fatalities per 100,000 workers) 0.3 female and 2.6 male - 1.5 total.

Age group, 2016

Age group, 2016
Age group (years) Number of fatalities Fatality rate (fatalities per 100,000 workers)
less than 25 14 0.8
25-34 33 1.2
35-44 24 0.9
45-54 41 1.6
55-64 46 2.6
65 and over 24 5.3
Total 182 1.5

State/territory of fatality, 2016

Total 182 fatalities (1.5 per 100,000 workers). 20 fatalities (1.5 per 100,000 workers) in WA, 5 fatalities (3.8 per 100,000 workers) in NT, 21 fatalities (2.6 per 100,000 workers) in SA, 45 fatalities (1.9 per 100,000 workers) in QLD, 53 fatalities (1.4 per 100,000 workers) in NSW, 1 fatalities (0.5 per 100,000 workers) in ACT, 31 fatalities (1.0 per 100,000 workers) in VIC and 6 fatalities (2.5 per 100,000 workers) in TAS.

Mechanism of fatal injury, 2016

Vehicle incidents 45%. Being hit by moving objects 29%. Falls, trips and sllips of a person 14%. Heat electricity and other environmental factors 11%. Sound and pressure 1%. Hitting objects with a part of the body 1%.

Occupation, 2016

8.2 fatalities per 100,000 workers were machinery operators and drivers. 3.4 fatalities per 100,000 workers were Labourers and 1.6 fatalities per 100,000 workers were Managers.

Occupation, 2016
Occupations Number of fatalities Fatality rate (fatalities per 100,000 workers)
Machinery Operators and Drivers 62 8.2
Labourers 40 3.4
Technicians and Trades Workers 26 1.5
Managers 24 1.6
Professionals 14 0.5
Community and Personal Service Workers 3 0.2
Sales Workers 3 0.3
Clerical and Administrative Workers 1 0.1
Total 182 1.5

The total includes unknown occupations. This means the sum of fatalities may not equal the total.

Industry, 2016

14.0 fatalities per 100,000 workers were in agriculture, forestry and fishing. 7.5 fatalities per 100,000 workers were in transport, postal and warehousing. 5.8 fatalities per 100,000 workers were in electricity, gas, water and waste services.

Industry, 2016
Industry of employer Number of fatalities Fatality rate (fatalities per 100,000 workers)
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing 44 14.0
Transport, Postal and Warehousing 47 7.5
Mining 6 2.7
Construction 35 3.3
Arts and Recreation Services 5 2.2
Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services 8 5.8
Administrative and Support Services 8 1.8
Manufacturing 6 0.7
Other Services 4 0.8
Public Administration and Safety 5 0.7
Wholesale Trade 0 0.0
Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services 2 0.9
Accommodation and Food Services 0 0.0
Retail Trade 4 0.3
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services 1 0.1
Education and Training 2 0.2
Health Care and Social Assistance 4 0.3
Information Media and Telecommunications 1 0.5
Financial and Insurance Services 0 0.0
Total 182 1.5

Work-related injury and disease

Safe Work Australia compiles national workers’ compensation statistics using data from the workers’ compensation authorities.

In this section ‘serious claims’ relate to where the injury or disease resulted in one week or more off work. The data for 2015-16 is preliminary (denoted by a ‘p’) and the before is subject to revision in subsequent years as further claims are finalised.

Trends in the rates of serious claims, 2000–01 to 2015–16p

Line chart showing the incidence rate (serious claims per 1,000 employees) per year: 16.3 in 2000-01, 15.8 in 2001-02, 15.6 in 2002-03, 15.4 in 2003-04, 15.2 in 2004-05, 14.2 in 2005-06, 13.6 in 2006-07, 13.4 in 2007-08, 12.5 in 2009-10, 12.5 in 2010-11, 12.3 in 2011-12, 11.3 in 2012-13, 10.6 in 2013-14, 10.0 in 2014-15 and 9.8 in 2015-16p. The line chart also shows that the frequency rate (serious claims per million hours worked) per year: 9.5 in 2000-01, 9.2 in 2001-02, 9.1 in 2002-03, 9.1 in 2003-04, 8.9 in 2004-05, 8.4 in 2005-06, 8.1 in 2006-07, 7.9 in 2007-08, 7.5 in 2009-10, 7.5 in 2010-11, 7.3 in 2011-12, 6.8 in 2012-13, 6.3 in 2013-14, 6.0 in 2014-15 and 5.6 in 2015-16p. A pie chart showing that the Australian serious claim frequency rate dopped by 29 per cent from 2005-06 to 2014-15.

Overall statistics, 2015–16p

Frequency rate of 5.6 serious claims per million hours worked. Median time lost is 5.2 weeks. The median compensation paid is $10,800 per claim.

Gender comparison

The serious claim frequency rate is 4.9 for females and 6.1 for males. The median time lost from work (weeks) is 5.4 for females and 5.1 for males. The median compensation paid is $9,200 to females and $11,700 to males.

Age group

60-64 years: 7.6 claims per million hours worked. 55-59 years: 7.3 claims per million hours worked.

Age group
Age group (years) Number of serious claims Frequency rate
(serious claims per million hours
worked)
Incidence rate
(serious claims
per 1.000 employees)
Less than 20 years 3,580 5.9 5.3
20-24 years 9,695 5.3 7.9
25-29 years 10,475 4.4 7.7
30-34 years 10,370 4.4 7.7
35-39 years 10,225 4.9 8.6
40-44 years 12,160 5.6 9.9
45-49 years 13,120 6.2 11.0
50-54 years 13,630 6.9 12.1
55-59 years 11,675 7.3 12.5
60-64 years 7,270 7.6 12.0
65 years and over 2,550 5.8 7.6
Total 104,770 5.6 9.3

Mechanism of incident

Body stressing 39.3%. Falls, trips and slips of a person 23.0%. Being hit by moving objects 15.4%. Hitting objects with a part of the body 7.4%. Mental stress 5.8%. Other mechanisms of incident 4.1%. Vehicle incidents 2.4%. Heat, electricity and other environmental factors 1.5%. Chemicals and other substances 0.8%. Biological factors 0.3%.

Nature of injury or disease

Traumatic joint/ligament and muscle/tendon injury 43%

Wounds, lacerations, amputations and internal organ damage 16%

Musculoskeletal and connective tissue diseases 15%

Fractures 10%

Mental disorders 6%

Other injuries 3%

Digestive system diseases 2%

Burn 2%

Nervous system and sense organ diseases 1%

Intracranial injuries 1%

Bodily location of injury or disease

6% Non-Physical locations. 4% Chest/abdomen. 26% Arms/upper limbs. 3% Head. 13% Neck and shoulder. 20% Back. 23% Lower limbs. 4% Other locations.

Occupation

Labourers: 17.7 serious claims per million hours worked. Machinery operators and drivers: 11.1 serious claims per million hours worked. Community and personal service wokers: 10.7 serious claims per million hours worked. A pie chart showing proportion of serious claims: 5% Clerical and administrative workers. 16% Community and personal service workers. 25% Labourers. 14% Machinery operators and drivers. 4% Mangers. 9% Professionals. 6% Sales workers. 18% Technicians and trades workers.

Occupation
Occupations Number of serious claims Frequency rate
(serious claims
per million hours worked)
Incidence rate
(serious claims
per 1.000 employees)
Clerical and administrative workers 4,900 1.9 3.0
Community and personal service workers 17,145 10.7 13.7
Labourers 26,410 17.7 25.3
Machinery operators and drivers 14,895 11.1 21.4
Managers 4,555 1.6 3.4
Professionals 9,605 2.1 3.6
Sales workers 5,885 4.1 5.2
Technicians and trades workers 19,110 6.8 13.2
Total 104,770 5.6 9.3

Industry

Agriculture, forestry and fishing: 8.9 serious claims per million hours worked.

Industry
Industry of employer Number of claims Frequency rate
(serious claims
per million hours worked)
Incidence rate (serious claims per 1.000 employees)
Agriculture, forestry and fishing 3,510 8.9 17.5
Manufacturing 12,740 8.4 15.5
Construction 12,670 8.0 16.0
Transport, postal and warehousing 8,200 7.7 14.4
Health care and social assistance 16,175 7.4 10.7
Arts and recreation services 2,110 7.1 9.7
Wholesale trade 4,415 6.6 12.3
Public administration and safety 7,670 6.1 10.2
Accommodation and food services 6,185 5.9 7.4
Administrative and support services 4,245 5.8 9.2
Community and personal service workers 17,145 10.7 13.7
Retail trade 9,185 5.3 7.3
Education and training 6,335 4.3 6.5
Managers 4,555 1.6 3.4
Other services 2,790 4.3 7.4
Electricity, gas, water and waste services 1,140 4.2 8.2
Mining 2,080 4.1 9.2
Rental, hiring and real estate services 970 2.6 4.8
Information media and telecommunications 515 1.4 2.5
Professional, scientific and technical services 1,645 1.0 1.8
Financial and insurance services 620 0.8 1.4
Total 104,770 5.6 9.3

Costs of work-related injuries and diseases

Work-related injuries, illnesses and deaths impose both direct costs and indirect costs on employers,workers and the community. The costs are estimated using a methodology developed by the former National Occupational Health and Safety Commission.

Costs of work-related injuries and diseases, 2008–09 and 2012–13

Costs of work-related injuries and diseases, 2008–09 and 2012–13
  2008-09 2012-13
Total estimated cost (billion) $60.6 $61.8
Estimated cost as a percentage of GDP 4.8% 4.1%
Percentage of cost borne by employers 5% 5%
Percentage of cost borne by workers 74% 77%
Percentage of cost borne by community 21% 18%

Cost of work-related injuries and diseases by severity, 2012–13

A pie chart showing: $3.7 billion full incapacity. $1.2 billion short absence. $46.2 billion partial incapacity. $6.5 billion long absence. $4.1 billion fatality.

For more Safe Work Australia national statistics

For more Safe Work Australia national statistics
Type of data Publication
Serious workers’ compensation claims Australian Workers’ Compensation Statistics
Comparative Performance Monitoring Report
Work-related injury fatalities Traumatic Injury Fatalities Report
Costs of work-related injuries and diseases Cost of work-related injury and illness for Australian employers, workers and the community 2012-13
Enquiries statsonline@swa.gov.au

ISBN 978-1-76051-170-8 (PDF)

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Last modified on Friday 29 September 2017 [8941|61826]