Still too many work-related fatalities and injuries

Safe Work Australia has today released the Key Work Health and Safety Statistics Australia 2023 report, which reveals a national snapshot of work health and safety in Australia.

In 2022, 195 people were fatally injured at work in Australia, compared with 172 in 2021.Overall, the number and rate of fatalities has been trending downward since 2007. The rate of serious workers’ compensation claims was 6.5 serious claims per million hours worked in 2021-22. 

“While the trends are encouraging, the statistics are still too high. Every work-related fatality is a tragedy, and there’s a lot more work to be done to ensure that everyone gets home safely,” Safe Work Australia CEO, Michelle Baxter said.

“We know that work-related fatalities, injuries and disease have a devastating impact on workers and their families.

“This report brings together key data that will help inform improved WHS policy and practice to make Australian workplaces safer and heathier,” Ms Baxter said. 

The Key Work Health and Safety Statistics Australia 2023 report is a high-level overview of national statistics on work-related fatalities, injuries and disease.

Download the full report and explore more data on our interactive dashboards on Safe Work Australia’s new data website – Our Data. Your Stories.

Work-related fatalities 2022

Tragically, in 2022, 195 people were fatally injured at work in Australia. 

  •   The traumatic injury fatality rate for workers in Australia has decreased by 30% since 2012.
  •   93% of worker fatalities were male.
  •   42% of all worker fatalities involve a vehicle.
  •   Machinery operators and drivers had the highest number of fatalities by occupation (74 fatalities).
  •   The agriculture, forestry and fishing industry had the highest worker fatality rate (14.7 per 100,000).

Workers’ compensation claims 2021-22p

  • There were 127,800 serious workers’ compensation claims in Australia.
  • Body stressing was the leading cause of serious workers’ compensation claims (32.6%).
  • Mental health conditions accounted for 9.2% or 11,700 claims in 2021-22p. This figure is substantially higher than 10 years ago, rising from 6.5% of all serious claims in 2011-12 to 9.2% in 2021-22p.
  • Accepted serious workers’ compensation claims for COVID-19 increased substantially from the previous year, from 400 in 2020-21 to 9,500 in 2021-22p.
  • The age group with the lowest frequency rate continued to be workers aged 35-44 years, at 5.4 serious claims per million hours worked.

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