Work-related injuries – latest industry insights


Most of us get to go to work each day without giving a second thought to something horrible happening at work.

For 183 people in Australia in 2019, that wasn’t the case – people who lost their lives as a result of an incident in their workplace – as a worker, or bystander.

Safe Work Australia has recently released its latest report on Work-related Traumatic Injury Fatalities Australia 2019.  The report provides the latest national statistics on people injured at work – workers, and bystanders.

While the report shows that there was an increase of 25% in work-related fatalities between 2018 and 2019, these numbers have gradually decreased by 53% since 2007.

This decrease is some good news, yet there’s still a long way to go to make sure workers get home safely to their families each day.


Work-related injuries – causes and most affected industries

Work-related injuries
Source: Work-related Traumatic Injury Fatalities, Australia 2019 – Safe Work Australia

While the number of work-related fatalities has been steadily decreasing over the last decade, any workplace death is tragic and unacceptable.

Understanding the causes of injury and the industries most affected can help reduce work-related fatalities.

And, the more awareness and education of work health and safety, the better prepared employers and workers will be to minimise risks in the workplace.

In 2019, 62% of worker fatalities occurred in the following industries:

  • Transport, postal and warehousing (58 fatalities)
  • Agriculture, forestry and fishing (30 fatalities)
  • Construction (26 fatalities).
Work-related injuries
Source: Work-related Traumatic Injury Fatalities, Australia 2019 – Safe Work Australia

The most common causes of worker fatalities:

  • Vehicle collisions (43%)
  • Falls from a height (11%)
  • Hit by falling objects (11%)

Of these 183 people, 177 of them were men. Workers aged 55 to 64 years had the highest number of fatalities, followed by those aged 45 to 54 years.

The full report is available to view on Safe Work Australia’s website.

So what does this mean for employers and workers?

Work health and safety is not a ‘set and forget’ activity. Workplace risks can change and new risks can emerge. Just take COVID-19 as an example.

While the report shows that longer term, the number of people suffering work-related injuries or fatality at work has decreased, there is still a long way to go to ensuring that everyone that turns up to work on any given day, will also return home to their family and friends at the end of their shift.

No one’s job is worth losing their life.

Reducing workplace health and safety risk

Australian workplaces must continue to adopt solid work health and safety practices and integrate programs throughout their businesses to create safe workplaces for everyone.

Continuous risk management in the workplace must remain a priority. The Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012–2022 provides a framework to drive improvements in work health and safety (WHS) in Australia. The Strategy has a range of national priority areas that together set the framework for a nationally coordinated effort to achieve its vision and targets.

There are seven action areas:

  • healthy and safe by design,
  • supply chains and networks,
  • health and safety capabilities,
  • leadership and culture,
  • research and evaluation,
  • government, and
  • a responsive and effective regulatory framework.

Benefits of implementing a WHS program in your business

Workplace health and safety, or work health and safety (WHS) is concerned with the health, welfare and safety of people in the workplace. WHS considers the safety, health and wellbeing of business owners, employees, and customers or clients who may be affected in some way by the work environment.

Investing in a good Work Health and Safety program in your workplace will have far-reaching benefits:

  • Protect your employees from injury or harm.
  • Identify and minimise or eliminate unnecessary risks and hazards.
  • Improve employee engagement and operational efficiency.
  • Increase cost savings and improve business performance.
  • Increase compliance with the WHS Act.
  • Reduce risk of prosecution, protecting you, your business and your employees.
  • Reduce staff absenteeism and sick leave.
  • Reduce workers’ compensation claims.

Want to talk about your WHS program?

We work with businesses of all sizes and industries, to customise work health and safety systems for their business needs.

For more information on work health and safety for your business, or to book a Complimentary Consultation, get in touch with the team from Masula Compliance on 07 3348 3666 or email