Every industry has safety challenges for staff, with employees often exposed to a degree of risk in their everyday activities. However, some industries are more dangerous than others, at least according to recent statistics from Safe Work Australia.
Safe Work Australia has compiled data on all reported workplace deaths and found that already this year, Australia has seen 80 fatal injuries in Australian workplaces.
This figure is slightly down on numbers for the last two years, which have seen more fatalities. By this time last year, 87 workers had died in Australia while, In the first six months of 2012, there had already been 92 workplace fatalities.
These numbers show fatalities are dropping every year, a good direction for the country as a whole. However, these deaths have also been concentrated in a number of specific industries.
Nearly half of this year’s fatalities (34) have been in the transport, postal and warehousing sector. This is much higher than the 24 deaths recorded in the first six months of last year.
These high fatality rates underscore the importance of having the right equipment for a warehouse setting. Investing in safety equipment such as platform ladders and material handling trolleys are important for keeping your workers safe. Other handling equipment such as powered pallet trucks, scissor lift tables and tow tugs all assist in avoiding injury at work.
Other dangerous industries included the agriculture, forestry and fishing sector which experienced 17 deaths and the mining industry which saw 10 fatalities.
These three industries were the only ones to reach double digits, with construction the next highest fatality rate with five workers killed last year.
There were positive trends to come out of these statistics, with construction and manufacturing both recording drops in total workplace deaths. Although construction was the fourth-most dangerous industry, its numbers have dropped considerably, down from 13 this time last year.
Manufacturing has also seen a big drop, transitioning from 8 deaths to 3 for the first six months of 2013 and 2014 respectively.
If these trends continue, Australian workers are likely to see fatality rates continue to drop.