Australian research reveals that road crashes are the most common cause of work-related fatalities, injuries and
absences from work.
Traffic injuries are twice as likely to result in death or permanent disability than other workplace incidents.
Work-related road crashes cost the Australian community approximately $1.5 billion annually.
This fact sheet complements CARRS-Q’s OH&S and Construction Safety Fact Sheet. The OH&S and Construction Safety Fact Sheet provides further information on occupational health and safety in Australia, and CARRS-Q’s work in the broader field.
Work-related road safety
- Work-related road crashes account for 33% of all occupational fatalities in Australia1 and 15% of the national road toll.
- Safe Work Australia released a report in 20121 on work-related traumatic injury fatalities for the period 2010-2011. During this one year period, of the total 374 workrelated fatalities (including commuting fatalities), 220 people were injured at work, 110 travelling to and from work, and 44 were bystanders. In regard to the mechanisms of injury, vehicles are the primary mechanism of injury for work place fatalities, four times higher than any other mechanism of injury which happens to be falls from height.
- The number of reported work-related deaths is typically understated due to the difficulty in accurately cross-matching data sets and identification of all commuting deaths by some states.
- Work-related road crashes incur a greater average time lost in worker absence than any other workplace claim.
- Within work-related driving settings, reversing incidents are the most common types of crashes.
- Based on Australian workers compensation data, work-related road crash injuries are estimated to cost approximately $500 million per year.6
- CARRS-Q research has shown that costs associated with work-related vehicle crashes have more often than not been calculated in terms of vehicle damage or write off costs. These costs however are only the tip of the iceberg. Other costs not usually identified include personal injury, medical/hospital, rehabilitation, absence from work, workers compensation, downtime/lost productivity and potential loss of custom, administration, loss of assets, retraining and insurance premiums
- CARRS-Q has undertaken research to identify the true cost of a fleet crash. Results indicated, within a particular fleet, that the average total insurance cost inclusive of property damage, workers compensation and third party costs was $28,122 per incident. Actual vehicle crash costs could be somewhere between 8-36 times vehicle repair/replacement costs.