Media Release

Top 10: Australia’s most dangerous jobs revealed

  • Agriculture, forestry and fishing are Australia’s Most Dangerous Jobs for 2016
  • Biggest killer of workers in Australia is vehicle related incidents, killing 71 people – 31% of all deaths
  • Australian workers are safer in the workplace: fatalities and serious injuries down

July 14, 2016, Sydney, Australia – One of Australia’s biggest comparison websites has released its 2016 list of Australia’s Most Dangerous Jobs.

Topping the list is the agriculture, forestry and fishing industry, with a finder Risk Score of 30.65, reflecting 43 workplace fatalities and 3,365 serious injuries amidst the 313,000 workers in 2014.

The second-most dangerous industry, transport, postal and warehousing, saw the most fatalities at 46 in total for 2014, making up 15% of all worker fatalities from 2013-2014. However the industry only saw the sixth-highest number of serious compensation claims out of all industries for 2013-2014, receiving a finder Risk Score of 25.11.

Third on the list was construction, with a finder Risk Score of 17.68. Interestingly, there is almost double the number of construction workers in Australia (1.026 million) compared to the second most dangerous jobs in transport (590,000), yet this industry is safer with fewer incidents of 31 workplace fatalities and 11,535 serious injuries in 2014.

The list, compiled from the latest data from Safe Work Australia for the year ending 2014, looks at the number of fatalities and serious injuries per industry and weights the number of fatalities to serious injuries on a scale of 100 to 1 respectively. Serious injuries are defined as an injury resulting in a week or more absent from employment.

Michelle Hutchison, Money Expert at, says that despite the dangers, the results show that Australians are being safer in the workplace.

“It's no surprise that agriculture, forestry and fishing topped the list of Australia’s Most Dangerous Jobs, given commercial fishing is deemed as one of the most dangerous jobs on the planet.

The top two most dangerous industries make up 47% of all workplace deaths in 2014, with road deaths the highest cause. In fact, road freight transport has been the single biggest workplace killer from 2003 to 2014 with 423 fatalities. Road passenger transport is far lower at 31 fatalities in the same timeframe. In 2014, 71 workers died on the roads, making up 31% of all workplace deaths.

"It was interesting to see that dangers lie in all industries across Australia, with jobs on the list from industries such as administration, and arts and recreation.

"Another interesting result from the study was that 2014 saw the lowest number of workplace fatalities per 100,000 employees, as well as the lowest number of serious claims ever recorded, since 2003. This shows that Australians are being safer in the workplace.”

According to the research, the total number of workplace fatalities in 2014 fell to 1.61 deaths per 100,000 workers – the lowest level since records began in 2003.

Luckily it’s not all bad news as the findings show the fatality rate has decreased 46% in the seven years to 2014, making 2014 the lowest year on record at 1.61 fatalities per 100,000 workers. 2014 also saw the lowest number of serious claims on record at 67,765, down from a high in 2005 of 90,465 serious claims.

Comparing men versus women, over 10 times as many people killed were male than female, at a total of 176 of the 188 fatalities (94%). Males also recorded 64% of all serious work claims than females.

Surprisingly, the administrative and support services industry recorded the same number of fatalities as the wholesale trade industry in 2014. There were 35 people who died in those industries in 2014.

From 2010 to 2014, Queensland recorded the bulk of arts and recreational fatalities with 15, more than NSW, Victoria and WA combined.

The findings also show that those under 25 are over four-times as likely to die in the workplace as those aged over 55.

Fatalities however don’t show the full picture, and when looking at serious claims, the health care and social assistance industry tops the list at 17,415 serious claims in 2013-2014. Manufacturing and construction both come in second and third, with 12,930 and 11,535 serious claims, and transport, postal and warehousing came in fourth (9,425).

“These findings show that there are potential dangers across any industry, no matter how safe it might seem. It’s worth considering taking out income protection insurance in order to secure that peace of mind that if something happens, you’ll be covered.”’s list of Australia’s Most Dangerous Jobs of 2016:

Industryfinder Risk ScoreNumber of fatalities in 2014Number of serious injuries in 2013-14Number of workers in 2014
1. Agriculture, forestry and fishing30.65433,365313,000
2. Transport, warehousing & storage25.11469,425590,000
3. Construction17.683111,5351.026 million
4. Manufacturing16.621512,930930,000
5. Mining14.39102,670269,000
6. Arts and recreation services13.95101,865202,000
7. Wholesale trade13.1564,380393,000
8. Health & Community Services12.64217,4151.394 million
9. Public administration and safety12.5268,775750,000
10. Administrative and support services11.5544,525386,000

Source:, Safe Work Australia

Methodology: examined the number of serious injury claims and the number of fatalities as a percentage of the working population across all sectors as reported by Safe Work Australia in the Australian Workers Compensation Statistics 2013-14 (Published Date: May 2016) and Work Related Traumatic Injury and Fatalities Australia 2014 (Published Date: October 2015) reports. Serious injuries are defined as those in which the employee was absent from work for at least a week as a result of the injury. The statistics were weighted at 100:1 for fatalities to injuries, hence the average number of deaths per 1,000 workers and the average number of serious injuries for every 100,000 workers were used to calculate the Risk Score. The scores were then ranked in descending order to find the top 10 most dangerous jobs list.


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