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Safe Work Australia compiles the Work-related Traumatic Injury Fatalities data set which provides national statistics on all workers and bystanders fatally injured at work. This data draws on a range of information 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.

Work-related fatalities resulting from diseases, natural causes and suicides are excluded. Further explanatory notes on the data can be found in the Explanatory notes for Safe Work Australia datasets.

32% of worker fatalities were caused by a vehicle collision and machinery operators and drivers had the highest fatality rate in 2017

Fatality rate decreased by 48%

14 female fatalities 176 male fatalities total number of fatalities 190

Age group (years) Number of fatalities Fatality rate
(fatalities per 100,000 workers)
less than 25 16 0.9
25-34 32 1.1
35-44 33 1.2
45-54 35 1.4
55-64 49 2.7
65 and over 25 5.1
Total 190 1.5

190 fatalities in total. Western Australia 20, Northern Territory 7, South Australia 14, Queensland 45, New South Wales 62, ACT 1, Victoria 36, Tasmania 5

* Fatalities are presented according to the state or territory where the fatality occurred, not the jurisdiction under which the fatality fell.

This graph shows what caused the work-related fatality (known as mechanism). ‘Vehicle collision’ accounted for 31 per cent of fatalities, followed by ‘Being hit by moving objects’ (18 per cent).
Note: Only mechanisms accounting for 5 per cent or more of fatalities are included.

Mechanism of incident Number of fatalities % of injury fatalities
Vehicle collision 60 32%
Being hit by moving objects 35 18%
Falls from a height 28 15%
Being hit by falling objects 15 8%
Roll over of non-road vehicle 10 5%
Drowning 8 4%
Other mechanisms 34 18%
Total 190 100%

This infographic shows which occupation work-related fatalities occurred in. ‘Machinery Operators and Drivers’ had the highest fatality rate (fatalities per 100,000 workers) in 2017.

Occupation Number of fatalities Fatality rate
(fatalities per 100,000 workers)
Machinery operators and drivers 55 7.1
Labourers 56 4.6
Managers 26 1.7
Community and personal service workers 14 1.1
Technicians and trades workers 17 1.0
Professionals 18 0.6
Clerical and administrative workers 3 0.2
Sales workers 1 0.1
Total 190 1.5

This infographic shows that the ‘Agriculture, forestry and fishing’ industry had the highest fatality rate (fatalities per 100,000 workers) in 2017.

The Agriculture, forestry and fishing industry had the highest fatality rate in 2017, which is 27% of total worker fatalities.

Industry of employer Number of fatalities Fatality rate
(fatalities per 100,000 workers)
Agriculture, forestry & fishing 52 16.5
Transport, postal & warehousing 54 8.6
Arts & recreation services 8 3.5
Construction 30 2.7
Wholesale trade 6 1.6
Electricity, gas, water & waste services 2 1.5
Mining 3 1.4
Rental, hiring & real estate services 2 1.0
Manufacturing 6 0.7
Public administration & safety 5 0.6
Other Services 3 0.6
Accommodation & food services 5 0.6
Administrative & support services 2 0.5
Financial & insurance services 2 0.5
Retail trade 4 0.3
Health care & social assistance 4 0.3
Education & training 1 0.1
Professional, scientific & technical services 1 0.1
Information media & telecommunications 0 0.0
Total 190 1.5

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Last modified on Wednesday 31 October 2018 [9836|82481]