Strategic objectives

Reduce harm

The Safe Work Australia Traumatic Injury Fatalities Report 2019 identifies the Northern Territory as the jurisdiction with the highest rate of worker fatalities in Australia, with a rate of 4.6 fatalities (per 100,000 workers) in 2019, and a 5 year average rate of 3.3 fatalities (per 100,000 workers).

Preliminary Northern Territory workers’ compensation data for 2019–20 shows that 36 per cent of claims during the year were for serious injuries where the worker needed greater than one week off work; a total of 7,541 working weeks were lost; and a total of $40,710,100 in workers’ compensation entitlements were paid.

The wider impacts of workplace injuries and fatalities are harder to quantify, but include indirect costs such as lost productivity, loss of current and future earnings, lost potential output and the cost of providing social welfare programs for injured or incapacitated workers, as well as the significant ongoing impacts on friends, family, the workplace and wider community.

We have an obligation to make sure that, once discovered, risks of harm are eliminated or minimised, providing the highest level of protection against harm as reasonably practicable; and to ensure the actions we take to administer our legislation do not themselves cause harm.

We will work with workers, duty holders and stakeholders to identify and address risks to reduce the number of work-related injuries and fatalities in the Northern Territory, with a particular focus on identified priority industries and risks.

Our activities

Eliminate and minimise hazards and risks

  • Regulator resources targeted to priority industries and risks.
  • Increase the effective use of compliance and enforcement tools to respond to health and safety risks.

Return to Work

  • Influence timely return to work and ensure legislated timeframes are met.
  • Mediation processes facilitated with a client-centric approach to assist in resolving disputes and reduce matters going to court.


  • Develop tools and advice for priority industries and mechanisms of injury.
  • Provide advice to all stakeholders to ensure the impact of work-related injuries and illnesses are minimal on Territory workers, and that workers have a timely, safe and durable return to work.
  • Actively engage with Health and Safety Representative in workplaces.

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