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Construction Industry Serious Injuries In Decline
(Safe Work Australia Report)

An industry profile published by Safe Work Australia shows there has been a 31 per cent decrease in the rate of serious claims in the construction industry between 2001–02 and 2011–12.

Key facts from the report

  • 30 per cent of falls injuries were caused by ladders
  • 20 per cent of serious claims were for back injuries
  • there has been a 36 per cent decrease in the rate of fatalities between 2002–03 and 2013–14
  • 58 per cent of fatalities were caused from falls from a height were from roofs and ladders, half of these involved falls of less than four metres.

The profile shows that the number of workers in the construction industry has grown by 33 per cent over the last 11 years and that within the construction industry 76 per cent of workers were classed as employees and were covered by workers’ compensation schemes.

According to the profile:

  • There have been significant reductions in the numbers and rates of injuries and fatalities in this industry over the last ten years or more. Nevertheless, the construction industry remains a high risk industry.
  • In 2012–13 the construction industry accounted for 9 per cent of the Australian workforce but 10 per cent of workers’ compensation claims for injuries and diseases involving one or more weeks off work.
  • In 2013–14 the construction industry again accounted for 9 per cent of the workforce but accounted for 12 per cent of work-related fatalities.
  • Around 12,600 workers’ compensation claims are accepted from the construction industry each year for injuries and diseases involving one or more weeks off work. In the construction industry this equates to 35 serious claims each day.
  • In 2012–13 the construction industry had the fourth highest incidence rate of serious claims per 1000 employees and fifth highest fatality rate per 100 000 workers in 2013–14.

Main causes of injury

  1. Body stressing 37%
  2. Falls, trips and slips 28%
  3. Hit by moving objects 14%

Main causes of fatalities

  1. Falls from a height 28%
  2. Vehicle incidents 16%
  3. Contact with electricity

Download The Safe Work Australia Construction Industry Profile Report >>

The Construction Industry Profile contains summary data relating to injuries incurred by workers employed in the construction industry as well as work-related fatalities. It is a useful summary resource for anyone with an interest in work-related injuries and fatalities in the construction industry.

Source:  This report is licensed by Safe Work Australia under a Creative Commons 3.0 Australia License.