Revealed: Australia's most dangerous industries

A total of 3,604 Australian workers have lost their lives on the job since 2003, including 190 in 2017

Revealed: Australia's most dangerous industries

In total, one Aussie worker dies every two days and one is seriously injured every five minutes. And the industry that is the most dangerous in Australia is that which comprises agriculture, forestry and fishing, according to a new analysis from Finder.

Indeed, Finder analysed the latest Safe Work Australia data concerning deaths and serious injuries, and found 18% more agriculture, forestry and fishing workers died on the job in 2017 than 2016.

Moreover, there were 16 deaths per 100,000 workers, which is more than double any other industry.

The transport, postal and warehousing industry came in as the second-most dangerous, followed by construction. Nearly three-quarters (72%) of all fatalities occurred in these three industries.

However, the chance of death isn’t the only factor that can make a workplace unsafe, according to Graham Cooke, insights manager at Finder.

“Even if an industry doesn’t see many fatalities per year, compensation claims for serious injuries and illnesses are still indicative of safety risks,” said Cooke.

“Although industries like mining and construction are known for being potentially dangerous, it’s the agriculture, forestry and fishing industry that has been at the top of our list for four years running.

Cooke added that this is a “sombre reminder” that death can happen on the job to almost anyone.

“Make sure you have suitable life insurance to protect your family if the worst were to happen.”

A total of 3,604 Australian workers have lost their lives on the job since 2003, including 190 in 2017.

In 2018, the preliminary data shows there were 152 Australian workers killed at work, compared with 190 workers in 2017.

As of 24 January 2019, there have been five Australian workers killed at work in 2019.


Finder created the Finder Risk Score based on deaths per 100,000 workers, and serious injuries per 1,000 workers.

There has been an 11% spike in serious injuries in the administrative and support services industry and a 3% increase overall.

On the other end of the spectrum, financial and insurance services is the safest industry with only 585 serious injuries and two fatalities in 2017.

Cooke said the health care and social assistance industry saw the highest amount of compensation claims in 2017, but luckily only four fatalities.

“Sole traders and independent contractors aren’t covered under workers compensation like regular employees are, so they should consider income protection for an added safety net.”
 

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