Media Release

Profession or pitfall: Australia’s most dangerous industries revealed

      • One Aussie worker dies every two days
      • 72% of deaths happen in 3 main industries
      • Things to know about income protection in the event of workplace injury

26 February 2019, Sydney, Australia - The industry that comprises agriculture, forestry and fishing is the most dangerous, according to new analysis from Finder, Australia's largest comparison site.

Finder analysed the latest Safe Work Australia1 data concerning deaths and serious injuries, and found 18% more agriculture, forestry and fishing workers died on the job in 2017 than 2016. More worryingly, 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 3 industries.

In total, one Aussie worker dies every two days and one is seriously injured every five minutes.

Graham Cooke, insights manager at Finder, said the chance of death isn't the only factor that can make a workplace unsafe.

"Even if an industry doesn't see many fatalities per year, compensation claims for serious injuries and illnesses are still indicative of safety risks.

"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.

"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," Cooke said.

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.

"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," Cooke said.

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 5 Australian workers killed at work in 2019.


IndustryNumber of fatalities in 2017Number of fatalities per 100,000Number of serious claims in 2017Number of serious claims per 1,000Finder Risk Score
Agriculture, forestry and fishing5216.53,62018.735.2
Transport, postal and warehousing548.68,3301523.6
Wholesale trade61.64,50012.414
Arts and recreational services83.52,19010.213.7
Health care and social assistance40.217,19011.111.3
Electricity, gas, water and waste services21.51,2109.210.7
Administrative and support services20.54,7301010.5

Source: Finder, Safe Work Australia

Things to know about income protection

  • Covers three-quarters of your income: Most policies in Australia will provide you with a monthly payment up to 75% (with some up to 85%) of your total income to keep you afloat during recovery.
  • Commissions and bonuses count: Your income can include any commissions, bonuses or fringe benefits you're eligible to receive.
  • Duration: Some policies can cover you for period of up to two years.


For further information


The information in this release is accurate as of the date published, but rates, fees and other product features may have changed. Please see updated product information on's review pages for the current correct values.

About Finder

Every month 2.6 million unique visitors turn to Finder to save money and time, and to make important life choices. We compare virtually everything from credit cards, phone plans, health insurance, travel deals and much more.

Our free service is 100% independently-owned by three Australians: Fred Schebesta, Frank Restuccia and Jeremy Cabral. Since launching in 2006, Finder has helped Aussies find what they need from 1,800+ brands across 100+ categories.

We continue to expand and launch around the globe, and now have offices in Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Poland and the Philippines. For further information visit

12.6 million average unique monthly audience (June- September 2019), Nielsen Digital Panel

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