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This page provides statistics on worker fatalities by industry.

  • Work-related fatalities data is reported on an annual basis and is sourced from our work-related traumatic injury fatalities database.

Information about the industry of the deceased’s employer is coded using the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification, 2006.

Industry of employer relates to the main activity of the establishment where the worker was employed at the time of death, irrespective of where the injury/disease event happened.

Number of fatalities and fatality rate by industry

More detailed statistics to those provided below can be found in the Number and incidence rate of work-related traumatic injury fatalities by industry - 2014-2018 statistical table.

In 2018, 69% of the workers who died were employed either in the transport, postal and warehousing industries (38 fatalities), agriculture, forestry and fishing industries (38 fatalities), or the construction industries (24 fatalities).

Figure 1: Worker fatalities: proportion by industry of employer, 2018 and five year average (2014 to 2018) 

Figure 1 shows in 2018, 69% of the workers who died were employed either in the transport, postal and warehousing industries (38 fatalities) agriculture, forestry and fishing industries (37 fatalities) or the construction industries (24 fatalities).

Table 1: Worker fatalities: number of fatalities and fatality rate by industry of employer, 2018

Industry of employer Number of
fatalities
Fatality rate
(fatalities per
100 000 workers)
Agriculture, forestry & fishing 37 11.2
Transport, postal & warehousing 38 5.9
Mining 9 3.7
Construction 24 2.0
Electricity, gas, water & waste services 3 2.0
Manufacturing 13 1.4
Wholesale trade 3 0.8
Rental, hiring & real estate services  2 0.9
Information media & telecommunications  2 0.9
Arts & recreation services 2 0.8
Administrative & support services  3 0.7
Other services  2 0.4
Public administration & safety  3 0.4
Accommodation & food services 1 0.1
Education & training 1 0.1
Health care & social assistance 1 0.1
Retail trade 0 0.0
Professional, scientific & technical services  0 0.0
Financial & insurance services 0 0.0
Total 144 1.1

Year-to-date 2020: Preliminary worker deaths by industry of workplace

As at 19 November, there have been 147 Australian workers killed at work in 2020. 

In 2019, 183 Australian workers were fatally injured while working, compared with 144 workers in 2018.

The 2020 and 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 Preliminary worker deaths year-to-date, 19 November 2019 Preliminary worker deaths year-to-date, 19 November 2020
Transport, postal & warehousing 

55

49

Agriculture, forestry & fishing

26

30

Construction

18

27

Public administration & safety

8

14

Manufacturing

10

12

Mining

9

5

Other services

4

3

Accommodation & food services

2

2

Administrative & support services

4

1

Arts & recreation services

5

1

Retail trade 

0

1

Wholesale trade

6

1

Education & training

2

1

Electricity, gas, water & waste services

6

0

Financial & insurance services

0

0

Health care & social assistance

0

0

Information media & telecommunications

0

0

Professional, scientific & technical services
 

1

0

Rental, hiring & real estate services

1

0

Total worker deaths

157

147

  • The table is ranked in descending order according to 2020 figures, and then in alphabetical order for industries with no fatalities.
  • The 2020 and 2019 figures are still preliminary and numbers will be updated when more information about these fatalities becomes available.

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