Fatality statistics fatality statistics

Fatality Statistics

As part of our commitment to Work Health and Safety we find ourselves having to read statistics on deaths at work, this is not a subject we enjoy but it is something we need to understand in order that we can play our role in continuing to offer the relevant WHS qualifications.

We see an increase in the number of enterprises that are conducting in-house BSB41419 Certificate IV in Work Health and Safety courses.

Safework Australia has released a table that shows an apparent reduction in fatalities and whilst this is good news, we all know 1 fatality is 1 too many.

Preliminary worker deaths by industry of workplace

As at 1 April, 24 Australian workers were killed at work in 2021.

In 2020, 177 Australian workers were killed at work compared with 183 workers in 2019.

The 2020 and 2021 figures listed in the table below are based mainly on initial media reports and provide a preliminary estimate of the number of people killed while working. Once the appropriate authority has investigated the death, more accurate information becomes available from which Safe Work Australia updates details of the incident. Updated information is used to publish Safe Work Australia’s annual Work-related Traumatic Injury Fatalities report which includes finalised work-related fatalities from 2003 onwards.

Industry of workplaceWorker deaths year-to-date, 1 April 2020Preliminary worker deaths year-to-date, 1 April 2021
Transport, postal & warehousing 199
Arts & recreation services23
Construction 113
Agriculture, forestry & fishing 82
Electricity, gas, water & waste services02
Manufacturing 62
Other services11
Public administration & safety51
Wholesale trade01
Accommodation & food services10
Administrative & support services10
Education & training00
Financial & insurance services00
Health care & social assistance00
Information media & telecommunications00
Mining30
Professional, scientific & technical services00
Rental, hiring & real estate services00
Retail trade 10
Total worker deaths5824
  • The table is ranked in descending order according to 2021 figures, and then in alphabetical order for industries with no fatalities.
  • The 2020 and 2021 figures are still preliminary and will be updated when more information about these fatalities becomes available.

The entire report can be found at https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/statistics-and-research/statistics/fatalities/fatality-statistics

Let us all pray there is a continued downward trend in these numbers.