Nurses Feel More Risk Than Construction Workers

Nurses, doctors and community service workers feel less confident about health and safety in their jobs than construction workers, according to a national survey.  

The findings about workplace attitudes towards health and safety come from a five-year study of more than 8000 workers by the University of Sydney research director Professor John Buchanan.

According to Professor Buchanan there is a stereotype about what an unsafe workplace is, but the hazards of work are far more subtle these days.

The study found one in four, or 25.3 per cent, of health and community workers believe their work is unsafe, compared to only 22.7 per cent of the construction employees surveyed.

Apparently being a nurse or doctor in the public health system is one of the most stressful places to be, but according to this study most people don’t see it like that.

“Most people don’t realise that in the health system, it’s the good will of those professions which is holding the show together, and they can’t do it forever and their health is suffering,” said Professor Buchanan.

The research also indicated that male employees were twice as likely as female employees to have a workers’ compensation claim.

The top three occupations for compensible injury and disease among men were labourers (25 per cent), trades workers and technicians (21 per cent) and intermediate production and transport workers (18 per cent).

For women, clerical and sales employees had the most compensible injuries and diseases (27 per cent), followed by labourers (20 per cent) and professionals (18 per cent).

The findings also revealed that only 17 per cent of workers are confident they won’t get injured or sick from work.

A key factor behind that perception was a lack of trust in management, Professor Buchanan said.

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Safety Concepts is an online resource providing up to date insights and covering issues in the field of Workplace Safety.

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