This paper offers a perspective on the relationship between accident frequency and number of employees in the Italian industry, during the period from 1995 to 2000. The number of firms examined is 2,983,753 with a total number of non-fatal and fatal injuries corresponding to 3,321,960. A statistical significant reverse relationship (p < 0:05) between firm size and number of days lost due to injuries was found in all industrial sectors, over the time span considered. Frequency index trends (defined as the ratio of number of injuries to one million worked hours) appear determined by non-severe accidents, which constitute 95.85% of the total injuries and exceed the severe cases by as much as one order of magnitude. When dealing with all injuries, only in the industrial sectors characterized by high degree of concentration, a statistically significant correlation was found between frequency index and firm size (p < 0:001) with FI inversely associated with firm size. On the contrary, both the frequency index for accidents involving permanent disability and fatal accident frequency rate decrease as the firm size increases, even in those sectors that have a low concentration index. The results are consistent with decreased availability of occupational safety services in small companies and suggest the need of auditing, safety training activities, education and information, as well as of support to safety investments targeted to small-sized industries.
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