Employers in Australia’s construction industry need to improve their workplace security resources, such as road safety equipment for highway projects and safety warning signs.
This necessity emerged as finder.com.au ranked the construction sector as the third most dangerous industry in the country for 2016, based on SafeWork Australia data. The field of work ranked behind transport, postal and warehousing, and agriculture, forestry and fishing, respectively.
While the number of fatalities per 100,000 construction workers reached 3.3 people, there were 16 serious claims per 100,000 employees. In comparison, serious claims in the transport, postal and warehousing industry comprised 14.4 claims. However, the number of fatalities in this sector had a 7.4 rate per 100,000 people.
Jobs related to farming, fishing and forestry remained the riskiest livelihood for three consecutive years. Graham Cooke, the insights manager at finder.com.au, attributed the industry’s poor safety record to its fatality rate based on the number of employees. The sector recorded 14 deaths per 100,000 workers, which is a higher proportion since this industry has a smaller workforce compared to other sectors.
Jobs in manufacturing and those in electricity, gas, water and waste services completed the top five. The other half comprised jobs in wholesale trade; mining; arts and recreational services; health care and social assistance; and administrative and support services.
Cooke advised independent contractors and traders in these 10 industries to have income protection for their safety. On the other hand, companies with little to no fatality rates should not be complacent, especially if workers’ compensation claims are quite high. He noted that these claims only indicate safety risks at the workplace.
The SafeWork Australia statistics further prove that safety equipment and tools at the job site remain necessary. Employers should also impose a strong culture of safety among employees, while the latter should be well-trained on best practices to avoid untoward incidents.