What is Australia’s most dangerous job?
The figures are in: Agriculture, forestry and fishing are once again the most dangerous industries in Australia.
According to Safe Work's Key Work Health and Safety Statistics Australia 2017, the agriculture, forestry and fishing industry averaged 16.5 fatalities per 1,000,000 workers in 2017, with transport, warehousing and storage industry, with a rate of 8.5
We mashed the stats for both fatalities and injuries (relative to the amount of employees in the industry) to create a Risk Score for each industry.
- Safe Work Australia: Work-related injury fatalities - Key WHS statistics Australia 2018
- Safe Work Australia: Work-related injury and disease - Key WHS statistics Australia 2018
Year on year breakdown
|Risk ranking (Industry)||finder risk score||+/- from 2016||Fatalities per 100,000 employees||+/- from 2016||Serious injury claims per 1,000 employees||+/- from 2016|
|1. Agriculture, forestry and fishing||35.2||+3.7||16.5||+2.5||17.5||-1.2|
|2. Transport, postal and warehousing||23.6||+1.7||8.6||+1.1||14.4||-0.6|
|5. Wholesale trade||14.0||+1.7||1.6||+1.6||8.2||-0.1|
|6. Arts and recreational services||13.7||+1.8||3.5||+1.3||12.3||-0.5|
|7. Health care and social assistance||11.3||+0.4||0.2||-0.1||9.2||-0.4|
|8. Mining||10.7||-1.20||1.4||- 1.3||9.7||-0.1|
|9. Electricity, gas, water & waste services||10.7||-3.30||1.5||+4.3||10.7||-1|
|10. Administrative & support services||10.5||-0.5||0.5||-1.3||9.2||-0.8|
|Risk ranking (Industry)||finder risk score||Fatalities per 100,000 employees||Serious injury claims per 1,000 employees|
|1. Agriculture, forestry and fishing||31.5||14||17.5|
|2. Transport, postal and warehousing||21.9||7.5||14.4|
|5. Electricity, gas, water and waste services||14||5.8||8.2|
|6. Wholesale trade||12.3||0||12.3|
|8. Arts and recreation services||11.9||2.2||9.7|
|9. Health care and social assistance||11||0.3||10.7|
|10. Administrative and support services||11||1.8||9.2|
|Risk ranking (Industry)||finder risk score||Number of fatalities in 2015||Number of serious injuries in 2015||Number of workers 2015|
|1. Agriculture, forestry & fishing||42.10||52||3,410||318,000|
|2. Transport, postal & warehousing||23.60||40||8,820||604,000|
|5. Wholesale trade||14.70||3||4,630||389,000|
|7. Health care & social assistance||12.80||2||17,565||1,432,000|
|8. Public administration & safety||12.20||6||8,270||729,000|
|9. Electricity, gas, water & waste services||11.70||4||1,175||142,000|
|10. Administrative & support services||11.60||7||3,785||391,000|
|Risk ranking (Industry)||finder risk score||Number of fatalities in 2014||Number of serious injuries in 14||Number of workers 2014|
|1. Agriculture, forestry & fishing||30.65||43||3,365||313,000|
|2. Transport, warehousing & storage||25.11||46||9,425||590,000|
|6. Arts & recreation services||13.95||10||1,865||202,000|
|7. Wholesale trade||13.15||6||4,380||393,000|
|8. Health & Community Services||12.64||2||17,415||1,394,000|
|9. Public administration & safety||12.52||6||8,775||750,000|
|10. Administrative & support services||11.55||4||4,525||386,000|
Data last confirmed as accurate October 2017. It's a good idea to check the SafeWork Australia website for the most up to date figures.
- The most recent statistics updated by Safework Australia (in its 2017 reports) are for the previous year 2016. As figures for 2017 are made publicly available, we will update this guide.
Top 10 most dangerous industries in Australia
1. Agriculture, forestry and fishing
Last year's ranking: 1
The agriculture, forestry and fishing industry has routinely been at the top of the most dangerous jobs list, with 470 workplace fatalities being recorded between 2007-2017.
The industry also had an abundance of workers' compensation claims lodged from 2016-17, with over 3,620 in total.
2. Transport, postal and warehousing
Last year's ranking: 2
The transport, postal and warehousing industry accounted for 54 fatalities (8.6 per 100,000 employees) and 8,330 serious injury claims (18.7 per 1,000 employees) in 2017.
Last year's ranking: 3
Construction accounted for 12.5% of all workplace compensation claims in 2017 with 13,280 claims made.
'Constructions services' were responsible for 30 total deaths in 2017. This includes jobs such as earthmoving, plumbing, carpentry, bricklaying and concreting.
Last year's ranking : 4
In 2017, 6 people lost their lives while working in the manufacturing industry. Manufacturing was also the second most common industry for workers' compensation claims, with 12,860 claims lodged in 2017.
5. Wholesale trade
Last year's ranking: 6
In 2017, the wholesale trade industry saw increase in the total number of fatalities from 0 (2016) to 6. The total number of serious injuries also increased from 4,415 to 4,500
6. Arts and recreation services
Last year's ranking: 8
In 2017, the arts and recreation sector had 2,190 workers compensation claims and 8 deaths.
7. Health and community services
Last year's ranking: 9
The health and community services sector once again had the highest number of worker compensation claims in 2016-2017, with 17,190 claims being lodged. The reason this industry doesn't rank higher is because of the serious claims per 1,000 employees being way less than the above industries (11.1).
Whole sale trading
Last year's ranking: 7
The mining industry experienced 3 deaths in Australia in 2017 (down from 6 in 2016).
The industry also had 2,030 workers compensation claims in 2017 (down from 2,060 in the previous year).
9. Electricity, gas, water and waste services
Last year's ranking: 5
The electricity, gas, water and waste sector saw a decrease in deaths in 2017 with from 8 (the previous year) to 2.
10. Administrative and support services
Last year's ranking: 10
The administrative and support services industry remained in 10th place in 2017. There were 2 fatalities, down from 8 the previous year.
Workplace fatalities are on the decline
As referenced by
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