Thursday, 23 March 2017

Before anyone starts yelling about those big bad unions, take a look at these workplace fatality statistics

The following figures represent someone’s mother or father, son or daughter, brother or sister, niece or nephew, aunt or uncle, grandparent or friend.

The numbers also make clear that, averaged out, three people were killed each week in a workplace accident between 1 January and 14 March 2017.

This is no blip in workplace fatality statistics – averaged out four workers died each week of the year in 2015 and three workers each week in 2016.

Worker fatalities

As at 14 March, 32 Australian workers have been killed at work in 2017.

The number of worker deaths listed on this page is based on initial media reports and is a preliminary estimate of the number of people killed while working. Once the appropriate authority has investigated the death, more accurate information becomes available from which Safe Work Australia updates details of the incident.
Updated information is used to publish Safe Work Australia’s annual Work-related Traumatic Injury Fatalities report which includes finalised work-related fatalities from 2003 onwards.

Year-to-date 2017: Preliminary worker deaths by industry of workplacea
a Ranked in descending order, and then on alphabetical order for industries with no fatalities.
b Mining fatalities include fatalities that occur in the coal mining, oil and gas extraction, metal ore mining, gravel and sand quarrying, and services to mining sectors.
c Includes notifiable fatalities that occurred overseas.
Safe Work Australia also collects and reports on a range of other work health and safety and workers compensation statistics.

These figures are still too high. 

However if it wasn’t for the efforts of unions from the 1830s onwards to have wages, hours worked, sick leave, annual leave and workplace safety included in Australian industrial law, workplace fatalities would be much higher in this country today.

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