Australian workplaces are safer than ever

Wednesday, 11 October, 2006

Statistics released yesterday by the ASCC suggest that Australian workplaces are becoming safer.

The Compendium of Workers' Compensation Statistics Australia 2003-04 provides data on all compensated claims and compensated fatalities that occurred in the 2003-04 period, as well as comparing the figures with results as far back as 1996-97.

Following past tradition, the construction industry recorded the highest number of compensated fatalities " of the 189 fatality claims for the year, 17% (32 fatalities) were employees from within construction.

The most common causes of these were: long-term contact with chemicals or substances (22%) " all of which involved asbestos, falls from height (19%), vehicle accidents (16%), being hit by moving objects (13%) and contact with electricity (9%).

Second on the list was the transport and storage industry with 16% (30 fatalities), with the agriculture, forestry and fishing industry and the manufacturing industry reporting 21 and 20 fatalities respectively to claim third and fourth places.

Ongoing data suggests that Australian workplaces are becoming safer with a drop in compensated fatality rates of 40% between 1996-97 and 2002-03. The rate has dropped again in 2003-04, with 238 compensated fatalities in 2002-03 compared with the 189 of 2003-04.

For a full copy of the document, go to

Wendy Cramer, Safety Solutions Editor

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