Firm size and occupational injury and illness incidence rates in manufacturing industries.
J Community Health 1989 Mar; 14(1):44-52
Data on occupational injuries and illnesses in relation to the size of the firm were gathered from a Department of Labor publication concerning manufacturing industries. Twenty eight industries were selected for further study. The companies were divided into eight categories based on the number of employees, ranging from small firms with up to 19 employees to large firms with more than 2,500 employees. Information was available on injury and illness rates for all eight size categories. Information on percent of women, percent of production workers, weekly earnings, and weekly hours was obtained from other Department of Labor bulletins for the 28 industries. The findings suggested that after controlling for other factors, small firms with up to 19 employees and large firms with over 1000 workers tend to have the best injury and illness records. It was suggested that large firms may spend considerably more time and money on interviewing and screening prospective employees and thereby hire healthier and safer employees or they might also spend more on keeping the work place safe. Small firms may underreport as the OSHA standards are not as stringent for them. There was also the factor that the owner of the small firm is also likely to be a worker and in wishing to keep himself safe, may insist on very high safety standards for his workers as well. Small firms also often hire friends and relatives of the owner, and thereby have additional reasons for carrying out their work with a high degree of safety.
NIOSH-Publication; NIOSH-Grant; Grants-other; Accident-rates; Morbidity-rates; Epidemiology; Accident-statistics
Economics San Jose State Univ Foundation One Washington Square San Jose, CA 95192-0114
Journal of Community Health
San Jose State University, San Jose, California