Horse-related injuries

If you work with horses, be aware of the risks and plan ahead to keep your workers and others safe.


One worker is hospitalised every day in Australia due to a horse-related injury. And for every worker injured, ten other people are hurt, often at workplaces like riding schools, equestrian centres and trail riding businesses.

One worker hospitalised each day for a horse-related injury98 horse-related fatalities occurred between 2000 and 2012.28 percent of fatalities occurred in NSS.Annual workers compensation claims in NSW total $5.3mil or about $7,400 per claim

What you can do to stay safe

People who interact with horses are most commonly injured as a result of falls, strikes, bites or kicks. Get a clear picture of horse-related injuries in the industry and consider these ways to stay safe:

Watch our working safely with horses video to see how these tips are applied.

Typical hazards

Talk to your workers to find out what could go wrong and what could cause harm when interacting with horses. There are many potential hazards.

People not in control of the horse.Horses frightened by a carBad weatherHorse asks unpredictably - eg horse not fit for purpose.

Common causes of injury

Some problems can be fixed easily. It is important to investigate all incidents to ensure they do not happen again.

42 percent hit by a horse.40 percent falling from a horse.8 percent muscular stress.1 percent bitten by a horse.

Who gets injured

Young females are most prone to horse-related injuries while males are most likely to suffer fatal injuries.

Males account for 60 percent of fatalitiesFemales account for two-thirds of hospital admissions.Of femails hospitalised, the majority are aged 10 to 24.Of males hospitalised, the magority are aged 40-60.

Types of injury

There were 719 claims for horse related injuries in NSW in 2013/14.

33 precent sprains or strains22 percent fractures

22 per cent contrustion/crushing

What we researched

Our primary sources of data include the national coronial information system, the national hospital morbidity database, the NSW Ambulance Service, and national and NSW compensation statistics.

Coroner reportsHospital admissionsAmbulance statisticsWorkers compensation claims

Further information

You can download these resources:

Safe Work Australia also has a guide to managing risks when young and inexperienced people interact with horses