In 2010–11, Australian work health and safety jurisdictions reported a total of 138 notifiable work-related fatalities to Safe Work Australia. Of these fatalities, 120 were workers and 18 were bystanders (people who suffered a fatal injury as a consequence of someone else’s work activity). In comparison, there were fewer work-related fatalities notified in the previous financial year, 2009–10: in total, 124, comprising 111 worker fatalities and 13 bystander fatalities. Most of the work-related fatalities that occurred in 2010–11 were of men: 14 fatalities were of women, and of those, 8 were bystanders.
Because work-related fatalities were predominantly of men (a pattern consistently seen in all years of the data series), tables and graphs in this publication are not disaggregated on the basis of sex. Most vehicle incidents on public roads are investigated by the police, so those that are work-related may not be reported to work health and safety authorities. Because of this known limitation, notifications where the fatality was categorised as falling under the mechanism Vehicle incidents are identified as occurring on public roads or elsewhere. The reader should note that of the 23 fatalities resulting from Vehicle incidents, 10 occurred on public roads (see Table 1). This component of vehicle related notifications is known to be undercounted.