More Work Needed to Reduce Work-Related Fatalities in 2019-20

Safe Work Australia has just released an update featuring new data on work-related fatalities. And although numbers are down, the industries involved and causes are still very familiar.

Despite improvements (fatalities have halved to 1.1 worker fatalities per 100,000 in 2018), the “Work-Related Traumatic Injury Fatalities Australia 2018 Report” illustrates the need for ongoing efforts to make Australian workplaces safer.

During the study period, 69% or worker fatalities occured in the following industries:

  • Transport, postal and warehousing (38 fatalities)
  • Agriculture, forestry and fishing (37 fatalities)
  • Construction (24 fatalities)

The most common causes of fatalities remained pretty much constant with previous years, including those caused by falls from height, coming in at 3rd with 18 fatalities.

Beyond education of workers regarding best practices, some suppliers of worksite equipment are also incorporating height safety into their product designs to help reduce the fatality rate. Sydney and Melbourne-based work platform designer SafeSmart Access are one such company, with custom-designed systems that suit obstacles exactly, discouraging the use of ‘good enough’ ladders and the like.

Safe Work Australia’s Top 3 worker fatality causes rankings form 2018 are as follows:

  • Vehicle collisions (44 fatalities)
  • Being hit by a moving object (24 fatalities)
  • Falls from a height (18 fatalities)

This report is drawn from a wide range range of sources, including the National COronial Information System and jurisdictional authorities.

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