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How safe is your work?

Alexandra Vanags
28 October 2021 1 minute readShare

Workplace fatalities have decreased by 50 per cent since 2007, with a total of 194 people fatally injured at work in 2020, according to new data released by Safe Work Australia.

The Key Work Health and Safety Statistics, Australia 2021 report found 96 per cent of worker fatalities in 2020 were male.

Vehicle collisions accounted for 41 per cent of all deaths, while the next most common causes are being hit by moving objects (13 per cent), falls from a height (11 per cent), being hit by falling objects (9 per cent), being trapped by machinery (7 per cent) and being trapped between stationary and moving objects (6 per cent).

By occupation, machinery operators and drivers had the highest number of fatalities by occupation (67 fatalities), followed by labourers (41).

Meanwhile, the agriculture, forestry and fishing industry had the highest worker fatality rate, followed by transport, postal and warehousing, and then construction.

Workers’ compensation claims

Meanwhile, the report also found that in 2019-20, there were a total of 120,355 serious workers’ compensation claims – an increase from 114,435 claims in 2018-19.

Body stressing (such as muscle strains and back problems) was the leading cause of serious workers’ compensation claims in 2019-20, accounting for 37 per cent of all serious claims. The next was falls, trips and slips, accounting for 23 per cent.

Serious claims by occupation saw labourers make 18.1 claims per million hours worked, community and personal service workers make 13.9 claims and machinery operators and drivers make 11.4.

Safe Work said fatalities, injuries and illnesses have a devastating impact on workers, their families and the community, and understanding the causes of injury and the industries most affected can help with prevention.

October is National Work Safe month, with the theme of think safe, work safe and be safe.

How safe is your work?
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Alexandra Vanags

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