Safe Work Australia compiles the Work-Related Traumatic Injury Fatalities data collection, a comprehensive data set that includes detailed information on all work-related traumatic injury fatalities in Australia.

  • The most up-to-date data is the preliminary media based online worker fatality count. This data is a preliminary estimate and is subject to revision as further information becomes available from investigating authorities.
  • Aggregated data from the Work-related Traumatic Injury Fatalities data set is published in the Work related Traumatic Injury Fatality Time Series.
  • The Work related Traumatic Injury Fatalities Australia report is published annually.

The work-related traumatic injury fatalities data provides statistics about people who die each year from injuries caused by work-related activity. It includes fatalities that result from an injury sustained in the course of a work activity (worker fatality) and as a result of someone else’s work activity (bystander fatality). Data inclusions and exclusions are outlined below.

Data collected includes

The scope of this collection includes everyone:

  • who was fatally injured
  • whose injuries resulted from work activity or exposures
  • whose injuries occurred in an incident that took place in Australian territories or territorial seas.

The report includes everyone killed:

  • while working including unpaid volunteers and family workers, carrying out work experience, and defence force personnel killed within Australian territories or territorial sea or travelling for work (worker fatalities)
  • as a result of someone else’s work activity (bystander fatalities).

Data collected excludes

The collection specifically excludes those who died:

  • of iatrogenic injuries—the worker died due to medical intervention
  • due to natural causes such as heart attacks and strokes, except where a work-related injury was the direct cause of the heart attack or stroke
  • as a result of diseases, such as cancers
  • by self-inflicted injuries (suicide).

People who died of injuries caused by someone else’s work activity while they are classified as a worker rather than a bystander.

Year-to-date 2020: Preliminary worker deaths by industry of workplace

As at 10 September, there have been 110 Australian workers killed at work in 2020. 

In 2019, 182 Australian workers were fatally injured while working, compared with 144 workers in 2018.

The 2020 and 2019 figures listed in the table below are based mainly on initial media reports and is a preliminary estimate of the number of people killed while working. Once the appropriate authority has investigated the death, more accurate information becomes available from which Safe Work Australia updates details of the incident. Updated information is used to publish Safe Work Australia’s annual Work related Traumatic Injury Fatalities report which includes finalised work-related fatalities from 2003 onwards.

Statistics and Research

3,751 workers were fatally injured while working from 2003 to 2018

31% of worker fatalities in 2018 were due to a vehicle collision

37 workers who died in 2018 worked in the agriculture, forestry and fishing industry

Industry of workplacePreliminary worker deaths year-to-date, 10 September 2019Preliminary worker deaths year-to-date, 10 September 2020
Transport, postal & warehousing 4636
Agriculture, forestry & fishing2222
Public administration & safety812
Other services32
Accommodation & food services11
Administrative & support services41
Arts & recreation services41
Electricity, gas, water & waste services61
Retail trade 01
Wholesale trade51
Education & training00
Financial & insurance services00
Health care & social assistance00
Information media & telecommunications00
Professional, scientific & technical services
Rental, hiring & real estate services10
Total worker deaths131110
  • The table is ranked in descending order according to 2020 figures, and then in alphabetical order for industries with no fatalities.
  • The 2020 and 2019 figures are still preliminary and numbers will be updated when more information about these fatalities becomes available.


Safe Work Australia

April 17, 2020