Hospital workers feel less safe than construction workers

A national survey found that nurses, doctors and community service workers feel less safe at work compared to construction workers.

AAP reports that the findings about workplace attitudes towards health and safety come from a five-year study by the University of Sydney in partnership with the Australian Research Council and Unions NSW. The study involved more than 8000 workers.

Sydney University research director, Professor John Buchanan revealed the results of the study during a workplace health forum in Sydney on Wednesday.

“I think there’s a stereotype about what an unsafe workplace is – it’s coal mine which is going to fall on top of people, or they’re going to get poisoning of some kind, or fall off a multi-storey building,” said Professor Buchanan.

“But the hazards of work are far more subtle these days.”

According to the study, one in four, or 25.3 percent of health and community workers say their work is unsafe, compared to only 22.7 percent of the construction workers surveyed.

“Being a nurse or doctor in the public health system is one of the most stressful places to be, but most people don’t see it like that,” he said.

“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.”

The research also showed that male employees were twice as likely as female employees to have a worker’s compensation claim. It also found that only 17 percent of workers are convinced that they won’t get sick or get injured from work.

Professor Buchanan further said that lack of trust in management was a key factor behind the workers’ perception.

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