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Construction industry stats: the good and the bad news

Updated statistics from Safe Work Australia have shown the work fatality rate has continued to fall across Australia, but the incidence rate for serious claims from the construction industry is still well above the industry average.

The Work-related Traumatic Injury Fatalities data set provides national statistics on all workers and bystanders fatally injured at work. The statistics for 2020 and 2021 showed the fatality rate decreased 57 per cent from its 2007 peak, and 35 per cent since 2012.

The construction industry recorded 24 fatalities for the year, compared with 52 for the transport, postal and warehousing industry, and 33 for agriculture, forestry and fishing. By occupation, machinery operators and drivers had a much higher rate of work fatalities, followed by labourers, and then the ‘all occupation’ average.

Considering serious injury claims across industry, the data sets demonstrated that the incidence rate for the construction industry at 16.9 claims (per 1,000 workers) was still well above the industry average of 10.5 claims per 1,000 workers. Only manufacturing and agriculture (17.6 claims per 1,000), and forestry and fishing industries (20.2 claims per 1,000), had higher rates. There were more than 16,000 claims for the construction industry.

Further information

A more detailed breakdown of the statistics is at Key work health and safety statistics Australia 2022 | Safe Work Australia.