Safer construction voluntary code of practice : implications for SMEs

Anon. (2007) Safer construction voluntary code of practice : implications for SMEs. [Conference Paper]


The majority of Australian construction firms are small businesses, with 97% of general construction businesses employing less than 20 employees and 85% employing less than five employees (Lin and Mills, 2001; Lingard and Holmes, 2001). The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ definition of a small to medium enterprise was used for the purpose of this study (McLennan, 2000). This included small business employing less than twenty people and medium business employing less than 200 people. Although small to medium enterprises (SME) make up the major share of construction organisations in Australia, there is a paucity of published research in relation to occupational health and safety (OHS) issues for this group. Typically, SME organisations “are frequently undercapitalized and depend on continuous cash flow for their continued business” (Cole, 2003; 12). Research by Lin and Mills (2001) indicates that these factors influence the smaller operators’ ability and motivation to achieve high levels of OHS compared to larger firms which tend to integrate OHS into their management systems. According to Lin and Mills (2001; 137) small firms “do not feel the need to focus on OHS in their management systems, instead they often believe that the control of risk is the responsibility of employees”. This report documents findings from a qualitative research study that examined SME organisations’ views of a newly developed voluntary code of practice (VCOP), and ways in which they might implement the code in their businesses. The research also explored respondents’ awareness of current safety issues in industry in the context of their personal experiences.

Additional Information

Item Type: Conference Paper
Collection: CRC for Construction Innovation
Keywords: CRC for Construction Innovation; Program A : Business and Industry Development; Project 2005-027-A : Safer Construction
Date Deposited: 11 Mar 2014 03:14
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2014 03:20
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