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This infographic provides information about the causes of the high number of worker fatalities and injuries in the manufacturing industry. In this broad industry group, the sectors with most fatalities are machinery and equipment manufacturing, food product manufacturing, transport equipment manufacturing, and fabricated metal manufacturing. Because of the high levels of work-related death and injury to manufacturing workers, this industry is a national priority under the Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012–2022.

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Data from the infographic

Manufacturing fatalities

In the five years from 2008–9 to 2012–13, there were 107 manufacturing workers killed. The most common causes of fatalities were vehicle incidents, being hit by moving or falling objects, falls from heights and being trapped by moving machinery.

The following table shows the manufacturing sub-sectors with the highest numbers of workers killed:

Industry Sub-sector Number of workers killed
Machinery and equipment manufacturing 22
Transport equipment manufacturing 17
Food product manufacturing 17
Fabricated metal manufacturing 12

Manufacturing serious injuries

In the five years from 2008–9 to 2012-13 there were 87,285 serious injuries reported. The most common types of injury were joint/ligament, muscle/tendon, wounds, lacerations, amputations, internal organ damage, and fractures.

The following table shows the main causes of serious injuries:

Cause of injury Number of serious injuries
Body stressing 39,410
Hit by moving objects 16,450
Slips, trips and falls 14,235
Hitting objects with part of the body 8,935

Sources of information

Safe Work Australia’s national dataset for compensation-based statistics

Traumatic Injuries Fatality dataset

Who is this presentation for?

Business owners and managers in the manufacturing industry will find it very useful to know where to start to manage the key hazards facing their workers. Teachers and trainers who are preparing workers for this industry sector will also benefit from understanding the most serious hazards their students face.

Useful resources

The problem

Some solutions

For more information on prevention see your local work health and safety regulator.


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Last modified on Friday 25 January 2019 [446|86466]