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New report highlights Australian long-term work safety trends

A new Safe Work Australia report shows 144 people were fatally injured at work in Australia in 2018. However, over the long-term, the number and rate of worker fatalities have continued to decline.

Safe Work Australia compiles the data, which provides national statistics on all workers and bystanders fatally injured at work. The data draws on a range of information sources, including initial reporting of fatalities in the media or on relevant websites such as police, road authorities and the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, and notifications to Safe Work Australia, as well as the National Coronial Information System.

The long-term overview shows the fatality rate has dropped 62 per cent from a peak in 2007. Along with a reduction in fatalities, the rate of serious workers' compensation claims for the year continued to trend downwards, decreasing to 5.5 serious claims per million hours worked in 2017-18.

The Key Work Health and Safety Statistics Australia 2019 report is a high-level overview of national statistics on work-related fatalities, injuries and disease. The latest stats cover trends, gender and age comparisons, and industry and occupation breakdowns for work health and safety in Australia.

Vehicle collisions are the main cause of fatalities, followed by being hit by moving objects, falls from height and being hit by falling object.

“While these trends are encouraging, they are not a cause for celebration. Every work-related fatality is a tragedy, and there's a lot more work to be done,” Safe Work Australia CEO, Michelle Baxter said.

“We know that work-related fatalities, injuries and disease have a devastating impact on workers and their families. Understanding the latest statistics can help identify ways to prevent these,” she said.

Further information

Read the Key Work Health and Safety Statistics Australia 2019 report at safeworkaustralia.gov.au.