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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.
  • 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 workplace

As at 7 November, there have been 138 Australian workers killed at work in 2019. 

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

The number of worker deaths listed in the tablea below is 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, 7 November 2018 Preliminary worker deaths year-to-date, 7 November 2019
Transport, postal & warehousing

37

51

Agriculture, forestry & fishing

32

28

Construction

24

20

Miningb    

8

8

Electricity, gas, water & waste services

2

6

Manufacturing   

9

6

Public administration & safety

4

6

Other services   

0

5

 Arts & recreation services

1

3

 Wholesale trade

2

2

Professional, scientific & technical services

0

2

Administrative & support services 

1

1

Health care & social assistance

1

0

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

123

138

  • 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.
  • c Includes notifiable fatalities that occurred overseas.
  • The 2019 figures are still preliminary and numbers will be updated when more information about these fatalities becomes available.

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Last modified on Friday 8 November 2019 [6431|92790]