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Safe Work Australia produces several reports that provide information on the circumstances of work-related deaths in Australia:

  • The most comprehensive source of information on work-related injury fatalities is compiled in the Work-related traumatic injury fatalities data set. This data set and associated reports are based on information from a number of sources (workers’ compensation data, coronial information, notifiable fatalities and the media), and provide statistics about people who die each year from injuries caused by work-related activity.
  • The most up-to-date data we compile is the preliminary media-based Online worker fatality count. As this data is based on initial media reports they are only a preliminary estimate and subject to revision, as work-related status and other key information cannot be confirmed until the death is investigated by the appropriate authority.
  • The Monthly notifiable fatality reports provide a summary of work-related traumatic fatalities that were notifiable to Australian work health and safety jurisdictions.
  • Detailed statistical tables for fatalities by industry and occupation can be found in our Statistical tables section.

The work-related traumatic injury fatalities data provides statistics about people who die each year from injuries caused by work-related activity. It includes fatalities that result from an injury sustained in the course of a work activity (worker fatality) and as a result of someone else’s work activity (bystander fatality). Data inclusions and exclusions are outlined below.

Data collected includes

The scope of this collection includes everyone:

  • who was fatally injured
  • whose injuries resulted from work activity or exposures
  • whose injuries occurred in an incident that took place in Australian territories or territorial waters.

The report includes everyone killed:

  • while working including unpaid volunteers and family workers, carrying out work experience, and defence force personnel killed within Australian territories or territorial waters or travelling for work (worker fatalities)
  • as a result of someone else’s work activity (bystander fatalities).

Data collected excludes

The collection specifically excludes those who died:

  • of iatrogenic injuries—the worker died due to medical intervention
  • due to natural causes such as heart attacks and strokes, except where a work-related injury was the direct cause of the heart attack or stroke
  • as a result of diseases, such as cancers
  • by self-inflicted injuries (suicide).

People who died of injuries caused by someone else’s work activity while they are classified as a worker rather than a bystander.

Year-to-date 2019: Preliminary worker deaths by industry of workplacea

As at 12 September, there have been 111 Australian workers killed at work in 2019. 

In 2018, the preliminary data show there were 149 Australian workers killed at work, compared with 190 workers in 2017. These 2018 figures are preliminary figures and will be updated when more information becomes available.

The number of worker deaths listed in this table is based on initial media reports and is a preliminary estimate of the number of people killed while working. Once the appropriate authority has investigated the death, more accurate information becomes available from which Safe Work Australia updates details of the incident. Updated information is used to publish Safe Work Australia’s annual Work-related Traumatic Injury Fatalities report which includes finalised work-related fatalities from 2003 onwards.

Industry of workplace Preliminary worker deaths year-to-date, 12 September 2018 Preliminary worker deaths year-to-date, 12 September 2019
Transport, postal & warehousing

33

37

Agriculture, forestry & fishing

22

25

Construction

24

16

Miningb    

6

7

Electricity, gas, water & waste services

2

6

Public administration & safety

2

6

Manufacturing   

7

4

Wholesale trade

2

2

Administrative & support services 

1

2

Arts & recreation services 

1

2

Other services

0

2

Professional, scientific & technical services  

0

2

Health care & social assistance

1

0

Rental, hiring & real estate services

1

0

Accommodation & food services

0

0

Education & training  

0

0

Financial & insurance services

0

0

Information media & telecommunications

0

0

Retail trade

1

0

Total worker deathsc

102

111

  • a Ranked in descending order, and then on alphabetical order for industries with no fatalities.
  • b Mining fatalities include fatalities that occur in the coal mining, oil and gas extraction, metal ore mining, gravel and sand quarrying, and services to mining sectors.
  • The 2018 and 2019 figures are still preliminary and numbers will be updated upward when more information about  some workplace fatalities become available.
  • c Includes notifiable fatalities that occurred overseas.

Monthly notifiable fatalities

The monthly notifiable fatality report provides a national summary of work-related traumatic fatalities that were notifiable to Australian WHS jurisdictions.

Besides providing an estimate of the number of work-related deaths, the report includes details of the types of incident involved, the industry of the workplace where the fatalities occurred, and the industry of the decedent’s employer.

As well as the most recent report, the December 2016 report has been retained since it includes previous monthly counts. Comparisons between yearly monthly counts, however, should be made with caution.

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Last modified on Monday 16 September 2019 [6431|92275]