Risky Business! Top 10 most dangerous jobs in Australia

| November 28, 2014

Is going to work each day putting you at risk? Tatiana Coulter reveals the ten most dangerous jobs in Australia. 

Our jobs are probably the most important factor if we are to reach our dreams and secure a better future for our family. What we do for a living and the salary we earn is a huge factor in the quality of life we enjoy today and in the future.

So how would you feel if your job was actually a risk to your future?

This is the disconcerting reality that many workers face. Recent research has identified certain types of employment as serious threats to the health and well-being of those who perform these roles.

Employees in these jobs in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Hobart and Canberra – or anywhere in between – may either find it harder to obtain cover for life insurance, income protection insurance or total and permanent disability (TPD). They also may be required to pay higher premiums for insurance.

The top 10 most dangerous jobs in Australia are:

1. Transport and storage industry

If you work with warehousing or trucking industry, you are at high risk. This industry tops the list of the most dangerous jobs in Australia. With an average of 65 fatalities in one year, workers in transport and storage need to be prepared in case the worst happens. Aside from fatalities, there were also 8,450 workers who filed for serious injury compensation claims in 2012 from this industry.

2. Fishing, agriculture, and forestry

In any country, commercial fishing is probably one of the most dangerous jobs. With 53 reported deaths and 3,815 serious injuries for the year, this industry takes the second spot on our list. Workers in fishing, agriculture, and forestry are at risk of dying of animal attack, intense heat and drowning.

3. Construction

With 30 recorded deaths for the year and 12,485 serious injuries, construction workers need to take extra caution because they are more likely to get hit by stationary objects or fall off from a building than other workers of different industry.

4. Manufacturing

Those who are working in factories are at high risk of getting killed by car accidents, falling objects and hard falls from a height. There were 18 deaths and 16,670 serious injuries recorded for the year. Twenty-six percent of these serious injuries are caused by muscle stress due to heavy lifting.

5. Public administration, safety, and defense

It cost 13 lives and 4,300 severe injuries for the year in order to keep Australia safe. This industry employs around 1.1 million people, and most fatalities happen on the road.

6. Mining

The mining industry is number six on the list with seven deaths and 2,670 injuries for the year. Miners are at risk of getting trapped or hit by moving objects.

7. Retail trade

Working in retail won’t exempt you from experiencing accidents at work. With six recorded deaths for the year, people who work in retail are vulnerable to explosions, contact with hazardous chemicals, and being trapped between certain objects. In addition, lifting heavy loads caused around 11,200 serious injuries in retail.

8. Professional, technical, and scientific services

Car crashes, electrocution, falling, and being hit by falling objects are the most common fatal threats for lawyers, engineers, accountants, scientists, and other professionals serving this industry. There are six deaths and 2,100 serious injuries recorded for the year for these bright minds.

9. Wholesale trade

Importing and exporting goods can pose a threat too with five recorded deaths for the year and 5,315 serious injuries. The biggest cause of these injuries is lifting heavy objects.

10. Gas, water, electricity, and waste services

With 530 serious injuries reported for the year, the common causes of injuries in this industry are muscle strain and falling from a height. Working outdoors you need to take precautions too, since you can get attacked by an animal or trapped between objects.

This list has real some surprises – who would have thought professionals such as lawyers and accountants would be regarded as having dangerous jobs? How this will impact life insurance premiums in the future will be interesting to watch.

What’s clear is that unforeseen accidents can happen anytime and anywhere, so it is important for you and your family that you are prepared. Now is the best time to seek life insurance advice and review the amount of coverage you have on your insurance – don’t wait until it’s too late. There are options you can check out like Income Protection Insurance and Total and Permanent Disability Insurance.

This blog first appeared on Open Forum’s sister website First 5000 and is republished with the permission of the author.




  1. lynehoops

    November 27, 2014 at 11:59 pm

    Essential jobs need essential compensation cover

    These jobs drive Australia. Without them there would be a lot of unemployment. Why the NSW government chooses to hack away at workers compensation entitlements and attempted to kick in the door on CTP insurance is crazy. The government should be looking after us not just big business.

    These jobs are dangerous and that's exactly why they need insurance coverage.