Warren Lynam

Queensland Government reveals most dangerous jobs

LABOURERS work a job up to six times more dangerous than the average worker.

This is just one of the disturbing revelations published after a Queensland Government analysis of workers' compensation claims.

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland found labourers, machinery operators, drivers, technicians, trades workers, community and personal service workers to be most at risk of injury or harm.

This "harm index" from WHSQ considered workers' compensation claim costs, number of workers in an industry and the kind of injuries caused.

WHSQ chief Dr Simon Blackwood said factory process workers, food process workers and labourers from mining, construction and elsewhere were represented in the most dangerous end of the scale.

Those working these jobs were more likely to be injured than firefighters, police officers or even defence force personnel.

"That means injuries to workers in those occupations were three to six times more severe than the average Queensland worker," Dr Blackwood said.

"Labourers contributed more than 25,000 compensation claims, almost one-third of all claims finalised in 2011-12, which was the largest share of any main occupation group."

Machinery operators and drivers made up 9504 claims of the 2011-12 financial year, with truck drivers the most at risk.

Bricklayers, carpenters and joiners in the construction industry were twice as likely to be injured on the job.

Although not the riskiest job, the most dangerous areas were in manufacturing, construction and rural industries.

Only hairdressers and ICT technicians - or IT specialists - were ranked as having the lowest level of risk to workers.


Workplace Health and Safety Queensland ranks jobs 1-5, with five being the most dangerous.

These include:

  • Construction/mining labourers
  • Food process workers
  • Factory process workers
  • Truck drivers

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