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Work fatalities continue to fall in Queensland

Each year, Safe Work Australia compiles the Work-Related Traumatic Injury Fatalities data set which provides national statistics on all workers and bystanders fatally injured at work.

This report presents a summary of Queensland results from this dataset, based on Safe Work Australia’s key WHS statistics report and results for Australia. Work-related fatalities resulting from diseases, natural causes and suicides are excluded.

The national data set includes a range of information sources, such as initial reporting of fatalities in the media or on relevant authority websites (police, road authorities and the Australian Transport Safety Bureau) and notifications to Safe Work Australia from jurisdictional authorities. The National Coronial Information System, which provides confidential access to coroners’, police and other investigative reports, also is used.

The latest statistics show Queensland's fatality rate decreased by 56 per cent from the peak in 2007. In 2019, there were 41 male work fatalities, at a rate of 3.1 per 100,000 workers, compared with zero female worker fatalities in 2019. Of the 41 deaths, the highest numbers were for older workers. There were 14 in the 55-64 age group and 8 in the over 65 age group.

The highest number of fatalities resulted from vehicle collisions and machinery operators and drivers had the highest work fatality rate of 7.5 per 100,000 workers. Agriculture, forestry and fishing workers had the highest fatality rate of 18.4 per 100,000 workers, which was about twice the rate of transport, postal and warehousing workers and three times the rate for those working in mining.

The Queensland serious claim frequency rate dropped by 29 per cent from 2008–09 to 2017–18, with older workers and males having the highest claim rates. Body stressing accounted for 37 per cent of claims, with slips, trips and falls at 22 per cent and being hit by moving objects at 15 per cent.

Traumatic joint/ligament and muscle/tendon injury accounted for almost half the claims (49 per cent), followed by wounds, lacerations, amputations and internal organ damage at 14 per cent. Labourers had the highest claim rate at 20.1 claims per million hours worked. Administrative and support services, including labour hire, dominated the claims with 15.4 serious claims per million hours worked, followed by agriculture, forestry and fishing workers with 12.7 serious claims per million hours worked.

Further information

Read about key work health and safety statistics for Queensland.