1144.0 - Directory of Mining Statistics, 2002  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 13/12/2006   
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Contents >> Mining - Employment >> Work-related Traumatic Fatalities in Australia

Work-related Traumatic Fatalities in Australia

Team Leader
Statistics and CPM Support Team
National Occupational Health and Safety Commission
GPO Box 1577

Telephone: Canberra 02 6279 1006
Facsimile: Canberra 02 6279 1130
Email: gwin.nyakuengama@nohsc.gov.au
Web site: <http://www.ascc.gov.au/>

To identify and describe all work-related traumatic fatalities that occurred in Australia during the study period, in order to make a significant contribution to the effectiveness of activity designed to prevent work-related traumatic death (including mining fatalities).

This study included all people who died as a result of work-related trauma which occurred anywhere in Australia in the four-year period 1989 to 1992.

The study excluded all persons who:

  • died of diseases (such as cancers and heart attacks);
  • committed suicide, even if there appeared to be some direct connection with work; or
  • did not die as a result of their injuries.

A broad definition of work was used and the cases were divided into two main groups - workers and bystanders. Workers were defined as persons who were fatally injured while performing some kind of activity for pay, profit or kind (persons driving to or from work were included as a separate group). Bystanders were persons who were not working, but who were killed directly as a result of someone else's work activity.

The study also included a number of other groups whose death was related to work in a more indirect way. These groups were volunteers, students, persons performing home duties and persons fatally injured on farms but not due to obvious farm work.

The information was collected from the coroner's files in each of the states and territories. The files were read and deaths classified as cases (i.e. work-related), non-cases (i.e. not work-related) or indeterminate (usually when there was not enough information to confidently classify the file as a case or a non-case). File information for the deaths that was found to be work-related was photocopied, coded into a computerised database and analysed.

Files were found for 99.7% of relevant coronial files. Of the original 22,957 people who died of external causes during the study period, 3,627 (15.8%) were confirmed as cases, 17,808 were excluded as non-work-related (77.6%), and 1,522 were excluded as indeterminate (6.6%).

Main data detail
Some of the data items available related to the mining industry are:

  • occupation;
  • industry;
  • age;
  • gender;
  • mechanism of the fatal incident;
  • agencies involved;
  • place of the fatal incident;
  • activity at the time of the fatal incident;
  • cause of death; and
  • contributing factors.

Geographic coverage
Australia, states and territories.

Frequency of data availability
This was the second study of work-related traumatic fatalities undertaken by the Commission. The previous study was conducted for 1982 to 1984 inclusive. No further data collection of this type is planned.

Reference period
January 1989 to December 1992.

Historical data
Data are available from 1989 to 1992.

Products and services
The following publications are available from AusInfo, the Commission and its web site at <http://www.ascc.gov.au/>:

  • Mining Industry Fact Sheet
  • Work-related Traumatic Fatalities in Australia, 1989 to 1992
  • Work-related Traumatic Fatalities in Australia, 1989 to 1992, Summary Report

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