Australian workplaces have recorded the lowest number of fatalities in 11 years according to data released by Safe Work Australia in their annual report Work-related Traumatic Fatalities, Australia 2014. Is this due to the changes in WHS legislation? New Zealand seems to think so. They are about to enact very similar legislation. I guess only time will tell us but I hope the trend continues.

In 2013, 191 workers died from injuries received at work. This is 16% lower than the 228 deaths recorded in 2012.

Self-Employed Most at Risk

Alarmingly, the fatality rate for self-employed workers was three times higher than the fatality rate for employees in 2013.

Safe Work Australia’s acting CEO Michelle Baxter said “This report serves as a reminder that self-employed workers still have the same legal requirements as an employer to ensure their own health and safety is maintained while at work, as well as the safety of people entering their workplace. Even if a worker is conducting a business in their own right, they should not ignore their own health and safety.”

Other Key Findings

Other key findings from the report include:

  • In the 11 years that this report has existed , one-third of workers who were killed at work died in vehicle collisions on public roads, one-third in vehicle incidents at workplaces and the remaining one-third of fatalities did not involve a vehicle.
  • The agriculture, forestry and fishing industry recorded the highest number of fatalities in 2013 (48) followed by transport, postal and warehousing (46) and construction (19).
  • In 2013, 66 members of the public died as bystanders to someone else’s work activity.

Regards – Liz