Site Information and assistance

On this page:

Safe Work Australia compiles the Work-Related Traumatic Injury Fatalities data collection, a comprehensive data set that includes detailed information on all work-related traumatic injury fatalities in Australia.

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 seas.

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 sea 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 workplace

As at 31 December, there have been 166 Australian workers killed at work in 2019. 

In 2018, 144 Australian workers were fatally injured while working, compared with 189 workers in 2017.

The 2019 figures listed in the table below are based mainly 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 Worker deaths year-to-date, 31 December 2018 Preliminary worker deaths year-to-date, 31 December 2019
Transport, postal & warehousing

42

60

Agriculture, forestry & fishing

37

33

Construction

30

24

Public administration & safety 

4

10

Mining

10

9

Manufacturing   
 

9

8

Electricity, gas, water & waste services

3

7

Other services   

1

6

 Arts & recreation services

2

4

 Professional, scientific & technical services

0

2

Wholesale trade

2

1

Administrative & support services 

1

1

Health care & social assistance

1

1

Retail trade

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

Total worker deathsc

144

166

  • The table is ranked in descending order according to 2019 figures, and then in alphabetical order for industries with no fatalities.
  • The 2019 figures are still preliminary and numbers will be updated when more information about these fatalities becomes available.

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 Monday 20 January 2020 [6431|93221]