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Why our work is important

In 2019, 183 workers were killed at work. Each year more than 100,000 are compensated for a serious work-related injury or illness. Work-related fatalities, injuries and illnesses have a devastating impact on workers, their families and the community. Work-related injuries and illness not only cause physical, mental and emotional distress but also impose a significant cost on the Australian economy.

Safe Work Australia is committed to developing policy aimed at reducing the incidence of work-related death, injury and illness, and exposure to hazards and risks in the workplace. We know our work is having an impact, as Australia continues to experience a decrease in work-related injuries and fatalities. In the past decade we have seen work-related fatality rates drop by over 30%.

Through our analysis of data and research we are gaining better insights into future work health and safety (WHS) and workers’ compensation challenges. The changing nature of work and workplaces, the shift in workforce demographics and the evolution of new technologies present new risks but also provide us with new opportunities to influence WHS in a changing world.

We work closely with Commonwealth, state and territory governments, unions, industry, business, employer and worker groups, educators, academics and international organisations.

As a national policy body, we do not regulate WHS laws or administer workers’ compensation arrangements. The Commonwealth, states and territories have responsibility for regulating and enforcing WHS laws and administering workers’ compensation schemes in their respective jurisdictions.