New figures from Safe Work Australia show that workplace deaths increased in Queensland in the 12 months to June 30 from 33 to 43, which equates to an increase of 0.3 in the fatality rate to 1.6 per 100,000 workers. However, this result was still on par with the five-year average rate of 1.6.
The figures are contained in the Work-related Traumatic Injury Fatalities Australia annual report. The report provides statistics about people who die each year from work-related injuries.
The figures reveal that Queensland continues to record the second highest number of worker fatalities in Australia behind New South Wales. Similarly, Queensland’s fatality rate of 1.6 is second highest across Australia and above the Australian average of 1.4. South Australia has the highest rate of 1.8 in 2021.
Due to the nature of reporting employed in this report, worker fatalities may not necessarily fall within the jurisdictional responsibility of the state or territory where the fatality has occurred. Based on the jurisdictional responsibility Queensland recorded only 40 worker fatalities in 2021, three fatalities less than when based on location.
Historically, Queensland has seen a 25 per cent reduction in the number of traumatic worker fatalities, down from 57 in 2012 to 43 in 2021, making Queensland the fourth most improved jurisdiction across Australia over the period.
Similarly, the fatality rate (number of fatalities per 100,000 workers) has reduced 36 per cent between 2012 (2.5) to 2021 (1.6), the fourth largest decrease of all Australian jurisdictions.
Both of these results for Queensland exceed the 20 per cent national strategy reduction targets over the 10 year period.
Between 2017 to 2021 the industries with the highest numbers of fatalities were very similar for Australia and Queensland, with transport, postal and warehousing and agriculture, forestry and fishing, as well as construction, representing 67 per cent and 69 per cent respectively of all worker fatalities.
Over these five years, Queensland had an above average share of fatalities in administrative and support services (35 per cent) which is most likely due to labour hire businesses being coded to this sector, mining (33 per cent) which is expected as Queensland has the second largest mining sector in Australia and agriculture, forestry and fishing (30 per cent).
The report can be found at https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/doc/work-related-traumatic-injury-fatalities-australia-2021