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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.

Trends in work-related injury fatalities, 2003 to 2018

8 female fatalities 136 male fatalities total number of fatalities 144

Age group (years) Number of fatalities Fatality rate (fatalities per 100,000 workers)
Under 25 19 1.0
25-34 24 0.8
35-44 25 0.9
45-54 27 1.0
55-64 31 1.7
65 and over 18 3.3
Total 144 1.1

Work-related injury fatalities by state/territory, 2018*

* 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’ (17 per cent).

Note: Only mechanisms accounting for 5 per cent or more of fatalities are included. The remaining mechanisms are grouped together under ‘other mechanisms’.

Mechanism of incident Number of fatalities % of injury fatalities
Vehicle collision* 44 31%
Being hit by moving objects 24 17%
Falls from a height 18 13%
Being hit by falling objects 15 10%
Being trapped between stationary and moving objects 7 5%
Being trapped by moving machinery 7 5%
Other mechanisms 29 20%
Total 144 100%

* Vehicle collisions include fatalities that occurred as a direct result of a vehicle crash. Vehicles include not only road vehicles such as cars and trucks, but also machines such as aircraft, boats, loaders, tractors and quad bikes.

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 2018.

Occupation Number of fatalities Fatality rate (fatalities per 100,000 workers)
Machinery Operators and Drivers 51 6.2
Labourers 36 2.9
Technicians and Trades Workers 27 1.5
Managers 16 1.0
Professionals 8 0.3
Community and Personal Service Workers 4 0.3
Clerical and Administrative Workers 1 0.1
Sales Workers 1 0.1
Total 144 1.1

This infographic shows that the ‘Agriculture, forestry and fishing’ industry had the highest fatality rate (fatalities per 100,000 workers) in 2018.

Industry of employer Number of fatalities Fatality rate
(fatalities per 100,000 workers)
Agriculture, forestry & fishing 37 11.2
Transport, postal & warehousing 38 5.9
Mining 9 3.7
Construction 24 2.0
Electricity, gas, water & waste services 3 2.0
Manufacturing 13 1.4
Rental, hiring & real estate services 2 0.9
Information media & telecommunications 2 0.9
Wholesale trade 3 0.8
Arts & recreation services 2 0.8
Administrative & support services 3 0.7
Other Services 2 0.4
Public administration & safety 3 0.4
Accommodation & food services 1 0.1
Education & training 1 0.1
Health care & social assistance 1 0.1
Retail trade 0 0.0
Professional, scientific & technical services 0 0.0
Financial & insurance services 0 0.0
Total 144 1.1

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Last modified on Tuesday 5 November 2019 [10933|92826]