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Image of Diane Smith-Gander, Chair of SWA.

We want people to come to work, know that the systems are in place to keep them safe, and feel supported enough to always do the right thing.

Diane Smith-Gander, Chair, Safe Work Australia

Who we are

Safe Work Australia works with government, industry and business to improve health and safety at work for all Australians.

We work to:

  • coordinate and develop national policy and strategies
  • assist with the implementation of model WHS legislation
  • undertake research
  • collect, analyse and report data.

Image of Matthew Sherwood, a farm manager.

One of the main reasons I take work safety very seriously is to be able to get home to my wife and son each night.

Matthew Sherwood, farm manager

Why our work is important

All workers, regardless of their occupation or how they are engaged, have the right to healthy, safe and well-designed work.
A safe and healthy workplace is a positive and more productive workplace.

Infographic titled What we know. 104,770 is the number of claims in 2016. 182 fatalities in 2016. $61.8 billion was the cost of work-related injury and disease to the Australian economy.

Keeping track of work health and safety

Our statistics provide a national picture of work-related fatalities, injuries and workers’ compensation claims.

Infographic titled Claims in 2015-16. Men accounted for 64% of claims. Labourers had the highest percentage of claims. Those aged 50-54 had the most number of claims.

Understanding the common causes of injury and the industries most affected, helps reduce work-related fatalities, injury, illness and disease.

Infographic titled Causes of work health and safety injuries 2015-16. 39% body stressing. 23% falls, trips and slips. 15% being hit by moving objects.

Infographic titled Industries with the most fatalities in 2016. 50% of fatalities were in two industries, 47 in transport, postal and warehousing industry and 44 in agriculture, forestry and fishing industry.

Image of Rebecca Caulfield, an emergency nurse.

"It's really important that I go home to my family safely, both emotionally and physically..."

Rebecca Caulfield, Emergency nurse

We are making a difference

Our robust, flexible and durable work health and safety laws and policies mean that Australia continues to experience a decrease in workplace injuries and fatalities.

Infographic titled What the data says. The fatality rate has decreased by 50% since 2007. 31% decrease in the frequency of serious workers’ compensation claims since 2006-07.

Our work must continue

People are still dying and getting injured at work.

Infographic titled Worker fatalities in 2016. 182 workers died in 2016. Of these 87 were aged between 45 and 64, 168 were men, 40 were labourers and 42% were caused by a vehicle collision

Image of Michelle Baxter, CEO of SWA.

“The real endgame here is making sure that workers can get home safely, they get home safely to their families and their loved ones.”

Michelle Baxter, Chief Executive Officer, Safe Work Australia

All data relates to 2015-16 for serious claims and 2016 for fatalities.

Download a copy of Making workplaces safer.

This site is undergoing constant refinement. If you have noticed something that needs attention or have ideas for the site please let us know.

Last modified on Tuesday 7 November 2017 [8921|64291]