Learn more about the state of work health and safety in Australia through an infographic that compares statistics over a 10-year time period.
Updated 21 Oct 2022, Published 6 Oct 2022
Safe Work Australia Statistics refer to Key Work Health and Safety Statistics Australia, or Key WHS Statistics Australia, which is an annual report published by the government agency, Safe Work Australia, since 2003. It contains information on serious work-related injury and disease claims and national statistics on all worker and bystander fatalities in the workplace, excluding work-related deaths from diseases, natural causes, and suicide.
Statistics reveal progress or deterioration of Australia’s workplace health and safety, supporting policy creation and execution as well as decision-making on the matter. Comparing WHS statistics help provide deeper insight on the context in which workers and employers operate, improving the planning of preventive measures that could make a great positive impact.
Here is an infographic that compares workplace health and safety statistics from data collected during 2009-2010 and 2019-2020:
Vehicle collision is the biggest cause of workplace fatalities in Australia. According to the most recent report, vehicle collisions constitute 41% of all worker fatalities. It’s important to note that vehicle collisions include fatalities that happened as a result of a crash and that vehicles also involve machines such as aircraft, boats, loaders, and tractors, not just cars and trucks.
The agriculture, forestry, and fishing industry has the highest number of fatal injuries, and it continues to be the most dangerous industry in Australia. Fatalities in the agriculture, forestry, and fishing industry have increased by 1.7% from 42 worker fatalities during 2009-2010 to 46 worker fatalities during 2019-2020.
Traumatic joint or ligament and muscle or tendon injury is the most common workplace injury in Australia. It garnered 38% of all serious claims based on the latest statistics. However, the rate of serious claims for mental health conditions have nearly doubled from 5.5% in 2009-2010 to 9% in 2019-2020, making it one of the fastest growing workplace injuries and diseases in Australia.
Learn about Safe Work Australia's history and code of practices, how they function, and their role in improving work health and safety in Australia.
Jona Tarlengco is a content writer and researcher for SafetyCulture since 2018. She usually writes about safety and quality topics, contributing to the creation of well-researched articles. Her 5-year experience in one of the world’s leading business news organisations helps enrich the quality of the information in her work.
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