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Because of the high levels of death and injury to construction workers the Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012–2022 focuses on the this industry as a national priority.

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Construction fatalities

A total of 182 construction workers were killed in the five years from 2008–09 to 2012–13

Industry Sub-sector Number of workers killed
Construction services 123
Heavy and civil engineering construction 30
Building construction 29

The most common mechanisms that caused fatalities were:

  • Falls from heights
  • Vehicle incidents
  • Being hit by moving or falling objects
  • Contact with electricity

Construction serious injuries

A total of 63,230 serious injuries were reported in the five years from 2008–9 to 2012–13. The most common types of injury were:

  • Joint/ligament, muscle/tendon
  • Fractures
  • Wounds, lacerations, amputations, internal organ damage

The following table shows the main causes of serious injuries

Cause of injury Number of serious injuries
Body stressing 23 340
Slips, trips and falls 17 660
Hit by moving objects 10 660
Hitting objects with part of the body 6310

Falls from heights fatalities

A total of 48 construction workers were killed by falls from heights in the five years from 2008-9 to 2012-13. The most at risk construction occupations for falls from heights fatalities were:

  • Painting and decorating
  • Roofing
  • Plumbing
  • Housing construction

The following table shows the main types of falls and numbers of workers killed:

Industry Sub-sector Number of workers killed
Falls from buildings or other structures 20
Falls from ladders 12
Falls from scaffolding 5

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Last modified on Friday 25 January 2019 [461|86476]