Author Bio ▼

Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, who has also contributed to numerous national business titles including Utility Week, the Municipal Journal, Environment Journal and consumer titles such as Classic Rock.

September 13, 2018

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Workplace Safety

Britain rules the Commonwealth for workplace safety

The United Kingdom is the safest country in the Commonwealth when it comes to workplace safety, according to new research.

The research conducted by the compensation firm Australian Accident Helpline found the chances of an Australian being fatally injured in the workplace are three times higher than a counterpart in Britain.

It compared work fatality figures from various Commonwealth nations where such figures are available, including Australia, Britain, Canada, New Zealand and Singapore.

The figures show in the UK there were 0.45 deaths per 100,000 workers arising from 144 fatalities during the period April 2017 to March 2018.

Singapore, with a rate of 1.2 fatalities per 100,000 workers, is the second safest nation, according to the study.

The Asia-Pacific island country recorded its lowest worker death toll in 14 years during calendar year 2017, reducing the number of workers killed by 36% from 66 in 2016 to 42.

According to figures from the Australian government’s Safe Work agency, there were 1.6 fatalities per 100,000 workers during a 12-month period in 2016, during which 191 workers were killed.

In the same timeframe, Canada’s fatality figures released by the Centre for Occupational Health and Safety revealed that 905 workplace deaths occurred in 2016 at a rate of 2.56 per 100,000.

Worksafe New Zealand has recorded a mortality rate of 2.89 per 100,000 over the three years up until August 2017, which was marginally better than the United States, which saw 2.9 deaths per 100,000 workers in 2016.

The 191 worker fatalities recorded in Australia in 2016 were, according to Safe Work, the lowest since 2003.

To date 83 workers have lost their lives in the workplace in Australia this year.

Australian Accident Helpline Managing Director, Liam Millner, said consistently high standards are enforced on all worksites in the UK, which Australia would struggle to match until it had applied similar safeguards across the board.

“The problem in Australia is the huge contrast between work environments. On the one hand we have union-led workplaces that subscribe to excellent standards of safety, but on the other, workplaces with no union presence have in some cases, a complete absence of workplace health and safety protocol and safety standards drop off the cliff,” Mr Millner said.

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