Work-related fatalities

The State of the Work Environment (SOWE) series is produced by the WorkSafe Division of the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) with the assistance of WorkCover WA, to promote awareness of occupational safety and health in Western Australia.  Previously, reports in the series provided data on work-related fatalities from 1988-1989 a period which coincided with the effective operation of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1984, which gave WorkSafe legislative responsibility for all work-related fatalities, other than those on mine sites. This publication in the SOWE series, however, mainly focuses on work-related fatalities that occurred between 1 July 2010 and 30 June 2020 and references the adoption of updated versions of coding standards by WorkSafe and WorkCover WA from 1 July 2011 to:

  • Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification 2006 (ANZSIC 2006);
  • Type of Occurrence Classification System Third Edition Revision 1 (TOOCS 3.1); and
  • Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations First Edition (ANZSCO).

The data used to produce this report differs from reports on lost time injuries and diseases.  The definition and identification of work–related fatalities requires case-by-case assessment of the work being performed, and the circumstances of the fatal event.  The data in this report comes from a number of sources, mainly:

  • all work-related fatalities known and reported to WorkSafe directorate of DMIRS;
  • workers’ compensation information from WorkCover WA (in relation to compensated fatalities);
  • the Energy Safety directorate of DMIRS (in relation to electrocutions);
  • Resources Safety directorate of DMIRS (in relation to fatalities in the Mining Industry); and
  • published information from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (in relation to air incidents).

Fatal injuries or diseases leading to death for Commonwealth Government workers, workers covered by Comcare and defence personnel are not included in this data.

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