Work-related fatalities in Australia, 1989 to 1992: An overview

T. Driscoll*, R. Mitchell, J. Mandryk, S. Healey, L. Hendrie, B. Hull

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


This article provides an overview of the key results from a study of work-related traumatic fatalities that occurred in Australia in the four-year period 1989 to 1992. The data were obtained primarily from coronial files. There were 2,413 persons fatally injured while working or commuting during this period (that is, an average of 603 deaths per year). Of these, 1,787 were injured while working (1,244 in a workplace; 543 in motor vehicle crashes on public roads) and 626 were injured commuting to or from work. The overall rate of work-related death per 100,000 persons per year was 7.5 for workers and commuters combined, and 5.5 for workers only. (Another 811 non-working persons died as a result of someone else's work activity.) The number and rates of death varied considerably with sex, age, industry, occupation and jurisdiction. A range of involved agencies, mechanisms and places were identified, as well as many examples of similar combinations of circumstances that led to work-related deaths. The findings should help to underpin the development of specific prevention strategies. Future surveillance of work-related traumatic death should be conducted largely through the National Coronial Information System.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-66
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Occupational Health and Safety - Australia and New Zealand
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Industries
  • Occupations
  • Prevention strategies
  • Work-related fatalities

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