Using data to make workplaces safer

Understanding the causes of injury and the industries most affected can help reduce work-related fatalities, injuries and disease. Work-related fatalities, injuries and illnesses have a devastating impact on workers, their families and the community.

Each year, Safe Work Australia produces national work health and safety statistics, providing important evidence on the state of work health and safety in Australia.

Our latest publication provides an overview of national work-related fatality data for 2020 and workers’ compensation claims data for 2019-20. 

Work-related fatalities 2020

Tragically, 194 people were fatally injured at work in 2020.

Key findings include: 

  • The fatality rate of Australian workers has decreased by 50% since 2007.
  • 96% of worker fatalities in 2020 were male.
  • Vehicle collisions accounted for 41% of all 2020 worker fatalities.  
  • Machinery operators and drivers had the highest number of fatalities by occupation (67 fatalities) in 2020.
  • The agriculture, forestry and fishing industry had the highest worker fatality rate in 2020. 

Workers’ compensation claims 2019-20

  • There were a total of 120,355 serious workers’ compensation claims in Australia in 2019-20. This is an increase from 114,435 claims in 2018-19. 
  • Body stressing was the leading cause of serious workers’ compensation claims in 2019-20, accounting for 37% of all serious claims.

Read the Key Work Health and Safety Statistics, Australia 2021 report

Updated Guidance Material: Managing the risks of working in heat

Working in heat can be hazardous and is a common cause of harm among Australian workers. Some common risks of working in heat include heat-related illness, dehydration, burns and reduced concentration. 

Safe Work Australia has updated our guidance material on managing the risks of working in heat. The new guidance reflects changes made to the recommended first aid for heat stroke. 

This guide provides practical guidance for a person conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) on how to manage the risks associated with working in heat, including information on first aid for heat-related illnesses that reflects updated medical advice.

Download the from SafeWork Australia guide today.

More information on working in heat can be found here

Information on the risk management process can be found in the Code of Practice: How to manage work health and safety risks.

Information on consultation requirements can be found in the Code of Practice: Work health and safety consultation, co-operation and co-ordination.

Source: SafeWork Australia