Australian worker fatalities at 8-year low

Nov 25, 2014

Safe Work Australia has revealed the number of on-the-job fatalities in the country is the lowest number seen in eight years. The agency's "Work-related Traumatic Injury Fatalities, Australia 2010-11" report revealed that the country experienced 374 work-related fatalities in that time frame.

Worker safety improving

The report also included data that may assist employers in developing policies or procedures that can better protect employees from harm, or even help regulatory agencies develop new protocol that must be followed to keep workers safe. The data indicated that two-thirds of on-the-job deaths involved vehicles; half of such fatalities occurred on roads, while the other 50 percent were on job sites.

Another statistic which may be more helpful as companies create standards to protect employees is the age of those prone to fatal accidents. The data revealed those workers aged 65 and over had the highest number of work-related deaths, amounting to 10.54 fatalities per 100,000 workers in this age group. The youngest employees, aged under 25, experienced the lowest rate, with only 0.88 deaths per 100,000 workers.

"There has been a significant reduction in the number of worker deaths since Safe Work Australia first began collecting these data in 2003-04, however, more can still be done to improve work health and safety," said Tom Phillips, chair of Safe Work Australia. "While the worker fatality rate of 1.93 deaths per 100,000 workers is at the lowest it has been in many years, a single death is still one too many."

Compliance screening still essential

As companies look to work with contractors within the country, they should consider conducting a thorough contractor screening process that will help them ensure their partners comply with safety regulations. A contractor that is not compliant with local regulations could rack up fines or citations, and a partner that fails to abide by a hiring company's specific standards puts that firm's reputation at risk.

While most contractors take the time to implement safety policies and abide by regulations to ensure workers are protected while on the job, some companies may not be up-to-date with the most recent standards and fail to adequately protect their employees. In these instances, a hiring company may want to provide its partner with assistance to ensure contractor compliance and avoid any potential problems in the future.

Category: safety statistics