Yesterday’s reported workplace fatality at the Barangaroo wharf brings the total of Australian workers that have lost their lives at work to 29 for this year.
Whilst the investigation is ongoing, and without knowing the full facts around the incident, it would be inappropriate to speculate on the cause, however speculation around the incident is widely reports in the local and national press
This most recent event, has shown a significant increase in work place fatalities this year in comparison to the same period to date in 2016. (information taken from Safe Work Australia)
The information which is accessible via Safe Work Australia, shows that there were 178 workplace fatalities in Australia during 2016.
The number of reported fatalities for the same period last year (1st Jan to 27th Feb 2016) states that 19 workers had lost their lives in comparison to 28 this year to date which is a staggering 47% increase and with the incident on Wednesday taking the total number of fatalities for 2017 to 29 this appears to be a significantly bleak outlook.
During 2015 a total of 195 workers were killed in Australia, which was 1 more than 2014, however more disturbing is the total number of individuals that have been killed at work between 2003 and 2015 a saddening 3,207. (data available from Safe Work Australia).
Unfortunately, the comparison must stop there as Australia reports workplace fatalities and incidents on a calendar year, the UK reports the same statistical data on their Financial Year, however if you draw upon the concept of a 12-month comparison, Australia had 23% more fatalities, which is a significant number. (Australian (data from) 1st Jan 2016 – 31st Dec 2016 v UK (data from) 6th April 2015 – 5th April 2016).
If this trend was to continue 2017 would be the highest year for workplace fatalities since 2007 in Australia when 310 workers lost their lives.