Australia’s most dangerous industries revealed

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One of the biggest comparison websites in Australia, lifeinsurancefinder.com.au, has revealed its list of the most dangerous workplaces in Australia.

The list could be an eye-opener for workers across the country, and may suggest some solutions for improving worker health and safety on the job site.

Warehousing, trucking and postal most dangerous industry

Warehousing, trucking and postal work took out the spot for most dangerous jobs in Australia, which suggests the need for quality equipment in these industries. Counted as one industry in this list, these workplaces counted 65 storage and transport workers killed in one year, the biggest number of deaths out of any other industries.

Warehousing, trucking and postal recorded a high number of injuries too. Its share of workplace fatalities was just under one-third of the 2013/14 year’s total out of all other industries, and 2012 saw 8,450 serious injury compensation claims.

The high rate of fatalities in the sector is largely due to the amount of time workers spend on the road, coupled with the need to travel and deliver items quickly. Nearly 70 per cent of the fatalities in the industry were due to car crashes.

It wasn’t simply the use of vehicles that explains the high incidence of accidents, however. The biggest contributor to the industry’s large number of serious injuries was muscle stress when carrying, lifting and putting down objects.

“Many Australian workers have to drive vehicles or lift things as part of their job, and they may not realise how dangerous their work can be,” said finder.com’s Money Expert Michelle Hutchison in an October 20 media release.

Whether in warehousing or another industry, it’s important to have trolleys, scissor lifts and powered vehicles to easily transport heavy items around the worksite. This type of equipment can help reduce the pressure and strain on workers’ bodies.

The usual suspects follow behind

Agriculture, forestry and fishing was the second most dangerous industry to work in, with 3,815 injury claims and 53 fatalities over 2013/14.

It seems that governments have already responded to this news. Work Cover New South Wales inspectors came to the Farming Small Areas and Lifestyle Expo on October 31 to advise workers about compensation and improvements to farm safety and machinery.

“While the NSW agricultural industry is one of the state’s largest and most important, contributing $11.7 billion in revenue, it is also one of the state’s highest risk,” explained Work Cover NSW’s Work Health and Safety Division Acting General Manager Peter Dunphy in an October 31 release.

He pointed out that there were 5,465 injuries and illnesses in the NSW agriculture industry over the three years to July 2012.

Other industries that made it onto lifeinsurancefinder.com.au’s list were construction, manufacturing, defence and mining. Construction saw 30 fatalities and 12,485 injuries, while mining saw seven deaths and 2,670 serious injuries.

This will not be surprising for those who keep an eye on work health and safety issues. The importance of having the right safety solutions for mining, defence and other industries is well known, and these results will only put a bigger emphasis on this.

Some industries come out of left field

It wasn’t only the typical dangerous industries you would expect that made it onto the top 10. Retail came in at number seven, followed by professional, scientific and technical services.

“You may not think that a sales assistant has a dangerous job, but when we found that there were 11,206 serious injuries including six fatalities in the one year, it’s not surprising that it made the list,” commented Ms Hutchison.

“Whether you’re behind a desk all day or on the road, you can’t always avoid danger while working.”

Sitecraft has long understood the need for safety solutions in the retail industry, and has a variety of products that help minimise any work health and safety issues in this and other sectors.

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