The Five Most Dangerous Jobs


Postal, Warehousing and Transport Since 2003 the transport industry, including warehousing and postal workers, has taken prime position as the most dangerous work sector in Australia. Incorporating truck drivers, couriers and passenger transport, this industry claims up to quarter of all lives lost at work each year, with many workers dying on the nation’s roads.

The road freight sector of this industry provides the greatest risk, with most accidents involving single vehicle semi-trailers and trucks.

Workers in this sector also face the threat of being hit by moving or falling objects and being trapped between machinery.

Agriculture and Forestry

With their exposure to the elements, remote workplace locations and usage of heavy machinery, agriculture and forestry workers have consistently ranked second in the Safe Work Australia statistics on workplace fatalities.

Road accidents, quad bikes and machinery rollovers are among the leading cause of death and injury particularly on Australian farms, but workers also encounter animals, and negotiate machinery.


Since 2003, 435 construction workers have lost their lives at work, with falls from a height the most serious threat to workers and accounting for one third of all deaths. Contact with electricity also poses a serious risk as does being hit by heavy moving machinery.

With back injuries, falls from ladders an slips on the job site the most common causes of injuries, insurers like Tradewise Insurance have even developed specialised cover specifically for the construction industry.


The manufacturing sector has accounted for 15 per cent of all workplace deaths since 2003, with 261 workers dying on the job. Threats include moving machinery like conveyor belts and forklifts.

Mining and Public Safety

Alternating across the years for fifth position are the mining industry and the public sector service which incorporates police officers, defence personnel and fire officers. These two sectors have accounted for 4 per cent each of all workplace deaths over the past decade. They also account for high injury rates.


The statistics also show some alarming trends when it comes to the age and gender of workers dying on the job. Men are most likely to die at work. In 2014 alone 176 of the 188 people killed in the workplace were males. The age group most represented in worker fatalities is between 45 to 54 which has seen 663 workers killed, followed by 40 to 45 which accounts for 601 deaths.

In the past decade the number of Australians dying at work has decreased. That’s due to better workplace strategies, greater safety technology and education on industry risk. There are a host of resources available to assist workers and their employers make safer decisions on the job site. It’s about ensuring each day at work is enjoyed with care.