Safe Work Australia (SWA) has released the latest statistics on work-related notifiable fatalities around the country, for March 2013.
These reveal that 25 people died as a result of work-related accidents in March. This is a noticeable increase on the number of work fatalities recorded in January (13) and February (16).
According to SWA, 19 males and six females were among the victims. Of these, six were bystanders and eleven died from incidents on public roads or in the air.
Nine victims were hit by a falling object, six died in public road crashes, four were involved in an air crash, three died as a result of a vehicle incident which didn’t take place on a public road, and there was one incidence a piece of someone being electrocuted, hit by a stationary object, and hit by a vehicle on a public road.
In the year to date, NSW is the jurisdiction that has recorded the most work deaths, with 12, followed by Queensland (six), and Victoria and WA (four each).
While all industries and workplaces have their own risks and hazards, some simply pose more serious dangers to workers, and this is borne out in the 2013 statistics so far.
To date this year, the most dangerous industries by worker deaths have been: construction (nine); agriculture, forestry and fishing (nine); transport, postal and warehousing (seven); public administration and safety (five); and manufacturing (five).
By contrast, there have been no fatalities so far in several industries, including: retail trade; accommodation and food services; information media and telecommunications; and health care and social assistance.
These statistics represent the worst-case scenario for work accidents, yet those lucky enough to survive serious incidents may suffer significant injury that prevents them from returning to their jobs for weeks, months, or even permanently.
This can mean dire consequences for their financial security as well as for their health.
Victims of work injuries may be able to seek compensation for medical costs, rehabilitation and ongoing care, as well as loss of income, pain and suffering, and legal costs.