ASCC releases workplace fatalities reports

Monday, 01 December, 2008

The ASCC recently released two workplace fatalities reports: Notified Fatalities Statistical Report July 2007 to June 2008 and the Work-related Traumatic Injury Fatalities, Australia, 2005–06 report.

The Notified Fatalities report provides the most recent information on work-related fatalities which are notified to OHS authorities across Australia during the financial year.

ASCC chairman Bill Scales AO said: “There were 16 fewer notified worker fatalities in 2007–08 (131) than in 2006–07 (147), a decrease of 11%. While this suggests we are taking steps in the right direction to reduce work-related fatalities, every death in the workplace is still one too many.”

Key findings of the report include:

  • 150 notified work-related fatalities (131 worker notified fatalities and 19 bystander notified fatalities). 137 of these fatalities were males.
  • Four industries accounted for eight out of every 10 notified work-related fatalities: construction (24%), transport and storage (23%), agriculture, forestry and fishing (18%) and manufacturing (13%).
  • The most common causes of fatalities were vehicle accidents (44), hit by falling objects (23), hit by moving objects (21), falls from height (16) and trapped by moving machinery (12).
  • Construction workplaces recorded a consistently high number of fatalities (ranging from 18 in 2004–05 to 36 in 2007–08).
  • Notable decrease in the number of notified worker fatalities in agriculture, forestry and fishery workplaces (42 in 2003–04 down to 25 in 2007–08).
  • Notable decrease in the number of fatalities in mining workplaces (13 in 2006–07 down to 4 in 2007–08).

Work-related fatalities which occur on public roads are not included.

The Work-related Traumatic Injury Fatalities, Australia report indicated that:

  • 270 people died while working for income.
  • 123 people died while travelling to or from work.
  • 41 people were killed as bystanders to work activity.
  • The agriculture, forestry and fishing industry and transport and storage industry recorded the highest number of deaths while working for income (55 each) followed by the construction industry (43).
  • Vehicle accidents caused 40% of the working for income deaths, followed by being hit by moving objects (14%) and falls from height (13%).
  • Vehicle accident accounted for 18 bystander deaths, 13 of which involved trucks or semitrailers.


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