The road transport industry is identified as a national priority to reduce the high rate of fatalities and serious claims in the Australian Work Health and Safety Strategy 2012-2022. The industry includes two detailed sub-industries: road freight transport; and road passenger transport.

This is an overview of the industry and its work health and safety (WHS) performance, highlighting key WHS issues and segments of the industry where performance may be lagging.

Key points

  • Worker fatalities are high with 15.6 fatalities per 100,000 workers, with no improvement in recent years.
  • Serious claims rates are high with 11.0 serious claims per million hours worked, however, this has fallen by 36 per cent since 2011-12.
  • The road freight transport sub-sector accounted for 92 per cent of worker fatalities and 82 per cent of serious claims.
  • As an occupation, truck drivers accounted for the highest proportion of both worker fatalities (84 per cent) and serious claims (54 per cent).
  • Vehicle incidents accounted for 79 per cent of worker fatalities, followed by being hit by moving objects (6 per cent).
  • Muscular stress while handling objects accounted for the highest proportion of serious claims (18 per cent), followed by muscular stress while lifting, carrying or putting down an object (15 per cent), and falls on the same level (13 per cent).