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Learning from fatalities - understanding how we prevent work-related fatal injury

A postgraduate research opportunity at the University of Otago.


Close date
Friday, 31 January 2020
Academic background
Health Sciences, Business, Humanities
Host campus
Honours, Master’s, PhD
Injury Prevention Research Unit
Dr Rebbecca Lilley


Several project opportunities exist with the Fatal Injury Research Team in the Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, as part of the Health Research Council funded Work Related Fatal Injury Study (WRFIS) “Creating Safer Workplaces”.

The WRFIS is a prospective cohort study utilising Coronial case files to examine patterns of work-related fatal injury over a 40 year period from 1974–2014. The study will identify current and historical patterns of high risk workers, work circumstances and workplaces, and will examine the impact of legislative and other regulatory changes on patterns of fatal injury.

Many public health and epidemiological projects are available for Dissertation, Master and PhD level study, including describing the patterns of work-related fatal injury for:

  • specific population groups (e.g. older workers, Maori, children);
  • high risk industry and occupational groups (e.g. Civil Aviation, Forestry, Mining, Truck Drivers, Conservation and Recreation Workers); and
  • specific types of hazards (e.g. quad bikes, excuvators, falls from heights, mobile machinery).

Other public health and data science projects are available developing future workplace safety data surveillance mechanisms, such as:

  • using machine learning to identify workplace fatalities in existing administrative data sets, including the electronic Coronial case file system
  • National Coronial Information System;
  • examining the capture of official data of work-related fatal injury with those captured in the WRFIS and identifying biases in data capture in each source of data.


Dr Rebbecca Lilley
Tel   +64 3 479 7230