Workplace Fatalities Fall

According to statistics released by Safe Work Australia, the incidences of workplace fatalities have fallen by one-third since 2008.


Looking closer at the most recent data from Safe Work Australia we can see the number of reported deaths per 100,000 workers in 2010-2011 fell below two.


The incidence of serious claims has also fallen, from 14.2 per 1000 workers in 2007-2008 to 13 in 2009-2010.


The fall has partly been driven by a safer practices particularly in high risk industries such as construction. The construction sector in fact has seen a drop to four fatalities per 100,000 employees compared to over 10 in 2003-04. Another large employer, the transport sector, which employs around 600,000 people, has also seen significant falls in fatalities.


Australia’s poorest safety record in terms of deaths continues to be agriculture. While one of Australia’s smallest employers, with just over 300,000 workers, agriculture  accounts for the greatest number of deaths. In 2010-2011 there were 60 recorded fatalities in agriculture, compared to 38 in construction. The most common cause of reported workplace deaths in agriculture are vehicle accidents or being hit by vehicles or other moving objects.


There are many reasons for these improvements in workplace fatalities including government led initiatives and industry activism.  One way or another, Australian workplaces, on the most recent data, are significantly safer than six years ago, except in agriculture, which remains a cause for concern.


(article sourced from