Work-related suicide in Victoria, Australia: a broad perspective

Int J Inj Contr Saf Promot. 2012;19(2):131-4. doi: 10.1080/17457300.2011.635209. Epub 2011 Dec 2.


While unintentional work-related injury is increasingly recognised as important and preventable, population studies of the full range of work related suicides have received less attention. The objective of this study is to investigate the epidemiology of work-related suicide in Victoria, July 2000-December 2007. The study draws on a database of all work-related deaths reported to the Victorian Coroner, inclusive of broadly defined work-relatedness. Inclusion criteria for work-related suicide were at least one of: suicide means was work related, work stressors were identified in police reports to the Coroners or the Coroner's finding, the suicide method involved another person's work (e.g. rail suicide, heavy vehicle) or the suicide location was a workplace. Cases still open for investigation were excluded. Of 642 work-related suicides, 55% had an association with work stressors; 32% jumped or lay in front of a train or heavy vehicle; 7% involved a work location and 6% involved work agents. Work stressor cases identified included business difficulties, recent or previous work injury, unemployment/redundancy or conflict with supervisors/colleagues (including workplace bullying). Work-related suicide is a substantial problem, for which few detailed population wide studies are available. Further research is required to understand the contribution of work stressors and effective interventions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Dissent and Disputes
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupations
  • Stress, Psychological / psychology*
  • Suicide / psychology
  • Suicide / statistics & numerical data*
  • Transportation / statistics & numerical data
  • Unemployment / psychology
  • Victoria / epidemiology
  • Workplace / psychology
  • Workplace / statistics & numerical data*
  • Young Adult