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Keywords:

  • light vehicles;
  • occupational driving;
  • work fatalities;
  • non-traditional work arrangements

Abstract

Objective: To estimate occupational light vehicle (OLV) fatality numbers using vehicle registration and crash data and compare these with previous estimates based on workers' compensation data.

Method: New South Wales (NSW) Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) vehicle registration and crash data were obtained for 2004. NSW is the only Australian jurisdiction with mandatory work-use registration, which was used as a proxy for work-relatedness. OLV fatality rates based on registration data as the denominator were calculated and comparisons made with published 2003/04 fatalities based on workers' compensation data.

Results: Thirty-four NSW RTA OLV-user fatalities were identified, a rate of 4.5 deaths per 100,000 organisationally registered OLV, whereas the Australian Safety and Compensation Council (ASCC), reported 28 OLV deaths Australia-wide.

Conclusions: More OLV user fatalities were identified from vehicle registration-based data than those based on workers' compensation estimates and the data are likely to provide an improved estimate of fatalities specific to OLV use.

Implications: OLV-use is an important cause of traumatic fatalities that would be better identified through the use of vehicle-registration data, which provides a stronger evidence base from which to develop policy responses.