Factory workers hold the fourth-most dangerous job in Australia, with 18 deaths and 16,670 serious injuries in 2012 – the highest number of serious injuries of any industry.
The transport and storage industry topped the list of Australia's Top 10 Most Dangerous Jobs, released by one of Australia's biggest comparison websites lifeinsurancefinder.com.au.
There were 65 transport and storage workers who were killed while on the job in one year, which was almost one-third (29 percent) of all workplace fatalities. There were also 8,450 serious injury compensation claims by workers in this industry in 2012, according to the latest research compiled by lifeinsurancefinder.com.au.
The agriculture, forestry and fishing was the second most dangerous industry with 53 fatalities and 3,815 serious injury claims, while construction workers hold the third most dangerous job, killing 30 Australians and wounding 12,485 for the year.
The most common cause of death was vehicle crashes, with an average of one in three (33 percent) fatalities on the roads across the list of industries.
The biggest causes of death in the manufacturing sector were vehicle crashes, being hit by falling objects and falls from a height.
More than one-quarter (26 percent) of serious injuries were caused by muscle stress from handling heavy objects.
Michelle Hutchison, Money Expert at finder.com.au (part of the lifeinsurance finder group), said the list showed that some jobs were more dangerous than expected, and workers should plan for the worst, no matter their profession.
“Many Australian workers have to drive vehicles or lift things as part of their job, and they may not realise how dangerous their work can be, Ms Hutchison said. “The most common serious claim for all industries was muscular stress while lifting, carrying or putting down objects, and the most common fatality was vehicle incidents.
“If you work in any of these industries on the list, you are even more likely to be killed or suffer a serious injury while on the job so you need to take extreme caution while at work and have a worst-case scenario plan in place.”
Other dangerous jobs that made the list were retail trade; and the professional, scientific and technical services such as engineering, analysts, lawyers, accountants and web development.
Australia’s Top 10 Most Dangerous Jobs
1. Transport and storage: Truck drivers and those working in transport, postal and
warehousing are the most dangerous jobs, with the highest number of fatalities for
the year of 65 deaths. Unsurprisingly, this industry saw the highest number of vehicle
crashes as they are likely to spend more time on the road than any other industry. The
majority of fatalities (68 percent) were crashes. Their biggest cause of serious injury was
from muscle stress while lifting, carrying or putting down objects.
2. Agriculture, forestry and fishing: Commercial fishing is one of the most dangerous
jobs in the world, given the tough working conditions experienced out at sea. So it’s no
surprise that this industry came in at second place on the list, with 3,815 serious injuries
and 53 deaths for the year. They are more likely to die from being hit by an animal,
drowning and heat exposure than any other industry on the list.
3. Construction: Those who build our roads, homes and office buildings put their lives on the line every day, with the third-most dangerous job. There were 30 deaths for the yearand 12,485 serious injuries. Construction workers were also more likely than any other industry to be killed by hitting stationary objects and their most common cause of death was falling from a height (40 percent of fatalities).
4. Manufacturing: Factory workers hold the fourth-most dangerous job in Australia, with
18 deaths and 16,670 serious injuries for the year – the highest number of serious
injuries on this list. Their biggest causes of death were car crashes, being hit by falling
objects and falls from a height. Over one-quarter (26 percent) of serious injuries were
caused by muscle stress from handling heavy objects.
5. Public/government administration, safety, and defence: Keeping our streets and
nation safe took 13 lives for the year, and injured 4,330 Australians working in public and
government administration, safety and defence. This industry holds the second-highest
number of Australians employed on the list, with about 1.1 million people. Falls and
muscle stress were the most common serious injuries sustained for the year, while about
half of the 13 fatalities happened on the road.
6. Mining: With 2,670 serious injuries and seven deaths, mining hits the list at number six. The majority (63 percent) of deaths were from being hit by moving objects, and it’s more common for miners to die from this as well as being trapped by machinery, with many workers operating heavy machinery and transferring earth for 12 hours per shift.
7. Retail trade: Working in retail can be a fatal career move, with six deaths recorded for
the year – almost the same number of deaths as the mining industry, which saw seven
people fatally injured on the job. The retail industry employs the most people than any
other industry on this list, with 1.22 million workers in 2012. Driving, explosions, contact
with chemicals and bring trapped between stationary and moving objects were the most
common causes of death for retail workers. And 11,200 serious injuries were most
commonly caused by lifting heavy objects.
8. Professional, scientific and technical services: Some of the brightest minds in
Australia are most at risk in their job, with scientists, engineers, lawyers, accountants
and others working in this industry saw six recorded deaths and 2,100 serious injuries
for the year. Falls, muscle strain and repetitive movements were the biggest causes
of serious injuries. The majority of fatalities were from car crashes, falling, being hit by
falling objects and electrocution.
9. Wholesale trade: Who knew working in fashion and exporting goods could be so
dangerous? According to the research, there were 5,315 cases of serious injury
including five deaths for the year. Lifting objects is the biggest back breaker for these
workers, causing the most serious injuries in this industry. Being hit by falling objects
and driving were the biggest killers for workers in this industry.
10. Electricity, gas, water and waste services: Driving to and from job sites proved fatal for five workers in the electrical, gas, water and waste industry. There were 530 serious injuries recorded, over one in three (35 percent) of which were from muscle strain, while 15 percent of injuries were from falling over. Working in often confined or high spaces and outdoors, these people are more likely to be killed by animal bites and trapped between object than any other industry on the list.
Source: lifeinsurancefinder.com.au, Safe Work Australia, Australian Bureau of Statistics