Still too many work-related fatalities and injuries

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Key Work Health and Safety Statistics Australia, 2023

There are still too many serious injuries, fatalities and illnesses arising from work.

Over the past ten years, there have been more than 1,850 traumatic injury fatalities in Australian workplaces, and over 1,140,000 workers have made a serious workers’ compensation claim involving more than one week of working time lost. That’s around one in every twelve workers.

All workers have the right to a healthy and safe working environment, however work‑related injuries and illnesses can occur in any industry or occupation, and the impacts are felt by us all – workers, their families and the community.

Findings from Safe Work Australia’s research, Safer, healthier, wealthier, show that in the absence of work-related injuries and illnesses on average each year Australia’s economy would be $28.6 billion larger, 185,500 additional full-time equivalent jobs would be created, and workers across all occupations and skill levels would benefit from an average wage rise of 1.3%.

The findings from the latest Key Work Health and Safety Statistics 2023 show that:

  • Body stressing, Falls, slips and trips, and Being hit by moving objects are the cause of most work-related injuries in Australia,
  • Vehicle incidents and Being hit by moving objects continue to account for most fatalities, and
  • Work-related mental health conditions are rising, with time off work in these cases more than four times longer than for other injuries.

Work-related injury fatalities

Safe Work Australia compiles the Work‑related Traumatic Injury Fatalities dataset which provides national statistics on all workers and bystanders fatally injured at work.

This data draws on a range of information sources, including:

  • initial reporting of fatalities in the media or on relevant authority websites such as police, road authorities and the Australian Transport Safety Bureau
  • notifications to Safe Work Australia from the jurisdictional authorities, and
  • the National Coronial Information System which provides confidential access to coroners’, police and other investigative reports.

Work-related fatalities resulting from diseases, natural causes and suicides are excluded. Further explanatory notes on the data can be found in the About our datasets page of the interactive data website.

This report provides statistics about people who die from an injury sustained in the course of a work activity (worker fatalities) in Australian territories or territorial seas.