Mining fatalities retain steady average

The number of fatalities in the mining sector last year has matched its five-year average from 2015 to 2019, according to a Safe Work Australia report.

The mining sector experienced 2.9 fatalities every 100,000 workers last year, comparable to its five-year industry average of three fatalities.

This places mining on the fifth rank in its proportion of worker fatalities by industry across Australia, following agriculture, forestry and fishing at number one (9.1 fatalities every 100,000 workers) and transport, postal and warehousing at number two (8.7 fatalities).

During 2015-2019, the construction and mining labourers group accounted for 34 fatalities, representing 36 per cent of all fatalities.

Most of the mining fatalities occurred in the primary mining jurisdictions of Western Australia and Queensland.

Safe Work however stated that these might not necessarily fall within the jurisdictional responsibility of the state or territory where the fatality occurred.

In contrast to the consistent trend in the mining industry, the fatality rate across Australia has decreased by more than half (53 per cent) since the highest rate recorded in 2007, where there were three fatalities reported per 100,000 workers.

Safe Work defines fatality as people who were lost each year from injuries arising through work-related activity.

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