A comprehensive study of deaths of work-related injuries which occurred throughout Australia in the years 1982-1984 was undertaken by means of coroners' records. Of 16,246 coroner-certified deaths that were attributed to trauma or to acute poisoning (excluding deaths of suicide or medical misadventure), the coroners' files were located for 15,462 (95.2%) deaths. From the files, a total of 1738 fatalities was judged to be work-related during the three-year period; of these, 1544 fatalities occurred in persons who were employed in the civilian labour force, which gave an average annual fatality incidence of 8.06 fatalities per 100,000 persons in the labour force. The death rate was much higher in men (12.05 fatalities per 100,000 men) than it was in women (1.34 fatalities per 100,000 women), increased with age, and was highest for the traditionally-dangerous occupations (such as mining, transport and rural occupations). The distribution of work fatalities by the main cause of death, and the nature of the injury event is described.