It is mandatory in all Australian jurisdictions for construction companies to provide a safe working environment for their workers and sub-contractors. Consequently, occupational health and safety (OHS) is a major issue for construction companies mainly due to the fear of prosecution. The introduction of zero tolerance by the Victorian government “WorkCover Authority” in 1999 provided increased legislative OHS standards for the construction industry. This has placed an increased burden on construction companies especially small firms that are not in a position of financial strength. This research is based on benchmarking study of OHS performance of 44 construction companies in Victoria, Australia. The results show that the size of the company is a major contributing factor to their OHS performance. Small companies employing less than 25 employees have comparatively low levels of OHS performance compared to larger firms. Company size is a limiting factor that impacts on the ability of small firms to implement comprehensive OHS plans. This research calls into question that notion that increasing legislative requirements will improve OHS outcomes.
Field of Research
129999 Built Environment and Design not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective
970112 Expanding Knowledge in Built Environment and Design
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