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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.

This document provides statistics about people who die each year from an injury sustained in the course of a work activity (worker fatalities) in Australian territories or territorial seas.

Trends in worker fatalities, 2003 to 2019

Worker fatalities by gender, 2019

Worker fatalities by gender, 2019

Worker fatalities by age group, 2019

Age group (years) Number of fatalities Fatality rate (fatalities per 100,000 workers)
Under 25 13 0.7
25-34 26 0.8
35-44 31 1.1
45-54 33 1.3
55-64 48 2.5
65 and over 32 5.4
Total 183 1.4

Worker fatalities by state/territory, 2019*

Worker fatalities by state/territory, 2019*

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

Worker fatalities by mechanism of incident, 2019

Worker fatalities by mechanism of incident, 2019

Note: 

  • only mechanisms accounting for 5% or more of fatalities are included.  The remaining mechanisms are grouped together under other mechanisms.  
  • the percentages shown in this table have been rounded to the nearest whole number; therefore the sum of percentage figures for each column may not equal the total.
Mechanism of incident Number of fatalities % of injury fatalities
Vehicle collision* 79 43%
Falls from a height 21 11%
Being hit by falling objects 21 11%
Being hit by moving objects  13 7%
Being trapped by moving machinery 10 5%
Being trapped between stationary and moving objects 9 5%
Other mechanisms 30 16%
Total 183 100%

*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.

Worker fatalities by occupation, 2019

Worker fatalities by occupation, 2019

Occupation Number of fatalities Fatality rate (fatalities per 100,000 workers)
Machinery Operators and Drivers 72 8.3
Labourers 29 2.3
Managers 25 1.6
Technicians and Trades Workers 28 1.5
Community and Personal Service Workers 17 1.2
Professionals 9 0.3
Clerical and Administrative Workers 2 0.1
Sales Workers 1 0.1
Total 183 1.4

Worker fatalities by industry, 2019

Worker fatalities by industry, 2019

Industry of employer Number of fatalities Fatality rate
(fatalities per 100,000 workers)
Agriculture, forestry & fishing 30 9.1
Transport, postal & warehousing 58 8.7
Electricity, gas, water & waste services 6 3.8
Mining 7 2.9
Construction 26 2.2
Arts & recreation services  5 2.0
Wholesale trade 7 1.8
Administrative & support services 7 1.5
Manufacturing 13 1.5
Public administration & safety 12 1.3
Other Services 5 1.0
Rental, hiring & real estate services 1 0.5
Accommodation & food services 2 0.2
Education & training 2 0.2
Professional, scientific & technical services 1 0.1
Health care & social assistance 1 0.1
Financial & insurance services 0 0.0
Information media & telecommunications 0 0.0
Retail trade 0 0.0
Total 183 1.4

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