Workplace injuries are an unfortunate reality in many sectors across Australia. Accidents can even lead to employee deaths in worst-case scenarios, but how dangerous is the industry in which you work?
This article will outline the country’s most hazardous professions, as well as some of the compensation claims that you may be entitled to make after sustaining injuries or illnesses while working. For some incidents, you could be eligible for compensation across multiple claims, so get in touch with an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible suffering injuries.
1. Transport, postal and warehousing
Transport, postal and warehousing jobs can lead to serious injuries or worse.
According to Safe Work Australia, the highest number of worker fatalities occurs in the transport, postal and warehousing industry. The data showed 53 staff members employed in these roles died on the job in 2015. This figure was a slight increase on the 48 deaths recorded the previous year.
Perhaps unsurprisingly for a transport-focused industry, truck accidents contributed heavily to fatality numbers. Comparison website lifeinsurancefinder in Australia noted in 2014 that approximately 68 per cent of deaths in transport, postal and warehousing were due to motor vehicle crashes. On the other hand, muscle strain was the primary cause of serious injury because employees regularly lift or move heavy objects.
The Motor Accidents Compensation Act 1999 sets out the necessary requirements for making a claim in circumstances where vehicles caused injuries or deaths in NSW. If vehicles are not involved, you may still be eligible for workers’ compensation or lump sum payments for total and permanent disabilities (TPDs), depending on the short- and long-term effects of the accident.
2. Agriculture, fishing and forestry
Agriculture, fishing and forestry almost matches transport, postal and warehousing in terms of the hazardous nature of the workplace. The latter saw 101 deaths over 2014 and 2015, compared with 100 for the former.
Lifeinsurancefinder in Australia highlighted commercial fishing as particularly dangerous, citing risks including drowning, heat exposure and being hit by an animal. Creature collisions comprised approximately 3 per cent of serious injury claims in 2012-13, Safe Work Australia statistics show, which was more than vehicle accidents over the same period.
Again, you may want to pursue workers’ compensation for debilitating injuries or illnesses, particularly if you are forced to take a considerable amount of time off. Workers’ compensation covers a range of circumstances, including psychological issues, and can provide financial support for medical expenses, rehabilitation costs and property damage.
Tradespeople face a range of hazards in the workplace, including falls from heights, falling objects and getting trapped by machinery. A Safe Work Australia report from last year revealed that falling objects resulted in 13 per cent of all employee deaths in 2013, while falls from heights caused 12 per cent.
While the construction industry saw less than half the worker deaths of transport, postal and warehousing and agriculture, fishing and forestry, there was were still 24 reported fatalities in 2015. Sadly, seven people were killed in a two-week period in the lead-up to Christmas, according to the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union.
When employees die in the workplace, their families may be entitled to lump sum payouts, reasonable funeral expenses and weekly payments for dependent children. Death benefits from the deceased’s superannuation policy may also be available. Construction is among the country’s most hazardous industries.