How do different business sizes affect worker safety?

PUBLISHED 25 Jan 2017

The size of the business you work in can make a massive difference to your lifestyle. Maybe it affects the amount you're paid or your promotional opportunities, but does it also impact how safe you are on the job as well?

According to SafeWork Australia, 176 people lost their lives at work in 2016. While the industry each victim worked in had an influence, a new report from SafeWork Australia notes the size of the business could as well. With a number of people also being injured at work and seeking TPD claims to ensure they live comfortably, it's important to understand what makes a workplace safe.

Which industries are the most dangerous?

In its annual review of worker fatalities, SafeWork Australia divided up the total number of fatalities between industries. According to its statistics, the three most dangerous industries in Australia are:

  • Transport, postal & warehousing
  • Agriculture, forestry & fishing
  • Construction

However, this doesn't mean that they're the only industries that can put people's lives at risk. The organisation noted that while a number of industries – such as education and training, and retail trade  – may seem safe, they each had a worker die on the job in 2016.

Are smaller businesses as good at managing risk?

One of the most significant differences between small businesses and their larger counterparts is the amount of resources they can dedicate to various issues that may arise. A report into safety management that SafeWork Australia produced found that small-business managers are less confident in their ability to empower employees with regards to workplace safety.

This fact is more worrying with the revelation that small businesses are the most common enterprise size in Australia, making up 87 per cent of the survey sample SafeWork used to curate its findings. The more these trends continue, the greater the likelihood that a number of Australians could be working in environments that are unnecessarily risky.

What makes businesses safer?

SafeWork Australia also reported on the behaviours that make the biggest differences to feelings of worker safety. People like to feel like they have control over their own levels of safety in the workplace, meaning the actions of managers and other colleagues have a huge impact on the risk environment.

Whether you have been injured at work due to your own actions, those of a colleague or an employer's negligence, it's important to contact experienced lawyers to ensure you are compensated fairly. Book a free consultation with the team at Gerard Malouf and Partners to find out more.

Call us now on 1800 004 878 to book a free appointment with one of my compensation experts, or email your enquiry.