شناسایی عوامل مرتبط با ایمنی و بهداشت شغلی و تعامل میان آنها و عملکرد بهداشت و ایمنی کار در شرکت های کوچک و متوسط
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|18644||2011||10 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||7320 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Safety Science, Volume 49, Issue 2, February 2011, Pages 216–225
An enterprise can modify several factors that impact on the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) performance. Within the implementation of the E-merging project (financed by INAIL, the Italian National Institute for Insurance against Occupational Accidents) – to improve safety in Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) – development context, a thorough literature review, supported by later practitioners’ suggestions, has been performed in order to identify the factors which can be related to the OHS issue. Then, the mutual interactions among the identified OHS-related factors and the interactions among the OHS-related factors and the OHS performance have been identified for SMEs and tested on the basis of two existing data sources, i.e. the INAIL most recent dataset and a survey carried out among SMEs in the metalworking industry. This allows to understand the root causes of some evidences, which enables entrepreneurs and managers to plan interventions for the improvement of the OHS performance.
1.1. OHS issue and SMEs Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) are key actors in the European Economic Area, but their health and safety conditions are very often poorer than in the larger enterprises. The Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) issue for SMEs is significant because more than 65% of the European workforce is involved, but there is evidence to show that SMEs do not manage health and safety as effectively as large enterprises. Peer-reviewed papers show that there are higher accident rates (Fabiano et al., 2004 and Kines and Mikkelsen, 2003 for major injuries; Mayhew, 2000 and Stevens, 1999 for major injuries; Salminen, 1993, Saloniemi and Oksanen, 1998, McVittie et al., 1997 and Suruda and Wallace, 1996 for fatalities) and larger magnitudes (in terms of “lost days”; see Fabiano et al., 2004 and McVittie et al., 1997) in Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) if compared with the case of the larger ones (LEs). This is generally due to a limitation – with respect to LEs – of human, economic and technological resources (Micheli and Cagno, 2010 and Beaver, 2003 referring only to recent works). In particular, some papers (Hasle and Limborg, 2006 and Champoux and Brun, 2003 for a review) focused on the lack of capacity of Small Enterprises to assess and control risks in an effective way. In addition – as suggested also by Hasle et al. (2009), the role of the low level of occurrence of accidents and injuries a SME can experience lowers risk perception, alters approach to risk control and changes the management priorities. Thus, only large severity accidents and injuries can have a beneficial and long term impact on OHS management system, but it can often be too late to intervene. Last but not least, the difficulties a manager of a SME has to face in the day-by-day enterprise running are plain: in SMEs he/she is often also the owner and has no (or a very little) team to deal with all the company activities, in which OHS is only one of a large number. Moreover, the characteristics of SMEs are so different that it is terribly difficult and expensive for general preventive efforts to reach all SMEs (Walters, 2001) and become effective. 1.2. The E-merging project (see also Micheli and Cagno (2010)) In Italy, 72% of the employees work in SMEs (which account for the 99% of the sum of the enterprises), and they are affected by the 80% of the reported accidents. In particular, in the Province of Lecco (a province in Northern Italy) the relevance of the OHS issue within SMEs is even higher: 94% of the employees work in SMEs (which account for 99.8% of the sum of the enterprises on the territory), and they are affected by the 94% of the reported accidents (source: dataset 2003–2005 INAIL – Italian National Institute for Insurance against Occupational Accidents – territorial office of Lecco; this is the most recent and complete domestic dataset available). Hence, since July 2008 INAIL has financed (and is partner of the project) the Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering – Politecnico di Milano to set up, in collaboration with API (Industrial Association of SMEs) in the Province of Lecco, the ‘E-merging’ project (“Electronic Tool for Merging SMEs’ OHS Data and Information to Support OHS Management and Improve Business Competitiveness”). The main objective of the project is to develop a software with a web-based interface capable of supporting SMEs in their safety management activities through the exchange of safety-related data and information and of certain management parameters of the enterprise and thus improve business competitiveness. On the one hand, the tool should facilitate the day-by-day OHS management from documentation management to due dates respecting to legislation requirements compliance; on the other hand it should help to make the most proper – and also long term – decisions for safety interventions by providing all – and only – the information needed and sharing secure data with a community of SMEs with similar characteristics and directions with INAIL. More specifically, the project aims at creating customized – on the basis of the specific SME characteristics translated by the software model into specific parameters – information and training tools for workers and enterprises to improve their safety management, and to properly prioritise investments in safety interventions. In fact, with SMEs does not exist any chance of success – especially in a field of low level of occurrence like the OHS management – unless within the paradox of analysing them as a global phenomenon and treating them singularly, on the basis of their specific characteristics and without distorting the weak mechanism that is their company sustainability. In doing that, three are the logical pillars on which an effective, but necessarily light, course of action should be based on:  sharing the knowledge;  identifying the particularity;  intervening specifically. The main idea of the project is that the OHS manager could have – by means of a simple internet secure connection – a map of his/her enterprise OHS criticalities self-highlighting – by means of green, yellow and red lights – and, besides facilitated accidents register or risk analysis documentation management, a list of precise suggestions on how to intervene on them and to who refer to. The effort required from an OHS manager is related to a very simple, but effective modelisation of the enterprise and its main characteristics by means of some process templates. This modelisation enables to compare data and information stemming from a large community of enterprises, so as to identify interesting risk patterns, estimate a “realistic” probability of occurrence, and highlight other critical points a single enterprise never experiences till the accident or injury happens. This is also coherent with the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (2004) and Tait and Walker (1998), who state that a simple but adequate system of safety management for SMEs is necessary but hard to achieve; and also with Walters (2001), who states that it is difficult and expensive for preventive efforts to reach all SMEs. The E-merging project is currently focused on the metalworking industry – even if its committed scope embraces all domestic territories and sectors, which makes up 33% of the sum of the reported accidents. This kind of industry is quite relevant also for Italy (as a whole), where it makes up 14% of the sum of the reported accidents, and this is relevant for the later extension of the implementation of the project itself. For the success of the project, it has been therefore vital to have a deep knowledge of all the OHS-related factors generally affecting the OHS performance of a specific SME (even with reference to the larger enterprises, see Micheli and Cagno (2008)).
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Stemming from the need of facilitating the most proper decision making on safety interventions in SMEs, in a literature and practitioner context where the complexity of the phenomenon is over-simplified (and only seldom focused on SMEs) and the decisions depend on entrepreneurs and/or managers “limited” experience and on instinct, the paper provides additional knowledge on the existence of relevant – and not considered, yet – OHS elements, and their actual link, specifically focusing on SMEs. In the end, this will enable to understand the root causes of some evidences and to plan interventions for the improvement of the OHS performance on the basis of a cause-effect link. In terms of general results, by means of a literature review, a strong involvement of a panel of OHS experts, and the analysis of two existing datasets, an overall view of the OHS issue is proposed which includes new OHS elements; second, some new likely interactions have been identified, and some of them tested, specifically for the SEMs context. As for the specific results and their implications, some factors have been identified on which is simpler to intervene (e.g., correct operative procedures, equipment quality, …). It is interesting to note that it is generally easy to act on about half of the factors identified, and that they are located in only three groupings (management, manpower management, working environment and manpower characteristics), that actually represent the real OHS management areas (see Fig. 1 and Table 2). Through the experts involvement, the whole framework coming from the re-aggregation of all the information from both the previous interviews and from the literature review, has been critically reconsidered and many differences have been highlighted (in bold, in Table 2). As an example, the presence of ‘non-EU workers’ seems to impact on the ‘frequency’ and to be influenced by the ‘employment rate’, which was not considered in previous literature. In summary, 20 new interactions were identified by the panel. At a first review, the most of them does not appear to be SME-specific – as it seem reasonable they are still valid for all the companies disregarding the size, apart from the interactions in which the availability of resources for OHS management is implied (‘PPE usage and status’, ‘equipment quality’, ‘environmental risk factors’, ‘training’, ‘company scale’). Another kind of interaction that needs further attention is the one related to ‘magnitude” of accidents – usually less investigated than ‘frequency’: a number of factors seem to have a significant influence (‘age’, ‘company scale’, ‘employment contract’, ‘gender’, ‘sector’, ‘task’, ‘working time’). As far as this is concerned, three new interactions with ‘magnitude’ have been empirically confirmed – ‘gender’, ‘task’, and ‘working time’. This is particularly interesting, because from a OHS management point of view, while ‘gender’ and ‘task’ are not assessed as factors on which is simple to intervene in the SME context, the ‘working time’ factor can be easily exploited as a powerful leverage. As for the five ‘OHS-factors’ interactions already tested in literature – namely, ‘company scale-risk analysis, inspections and audit’, ‘management commitment-communication and feed-back system’, ‘management commitment-training’, ‘training-correct operative procedures’, ‘training-PPE usage and status’, they have been confirmed. Nevertheless, it has to be pointed out that from a SME OHS management point of view, only the ‘training’ factor with the two interactions with ‘correct operative procedures’ and ‘PPE usage and status’ seems to be interesting. Also, the new confirmed interactions – ‘company scale-resources’ and ‘resources-training’ – are not so much attractive for managers and entrepreneurs, because no one of the influencing factors can be actually managed by the SMEs. As for the interactions ‘OHS-factors’ and ‘frequency’, it is noteworthy that the five out of six interactions already tested in literature – namely, ‘clear task definition’, ‘company scale’, ‘management commitment’, ‘sub-sector’ and ‘training’ – are confirmed, but only ‘clear task definition’ and ‘training’ are factors on which is simple to intervene in SMEs. In addition, a new interaction (‘PPE usage and status’) is confirmed by the statistical validation and this factor is also one on which is simpler to intervene. Summing up, most of the scientific literature has been theoretically confirmed also for the SME context, apart from the interaction between a systematic ‘Risk analysis, inspections and audit’ process and the ‘frequency’ of accidents. As far some new possible interactions are concerned, the statistical analysis confirms the impact of ‘gender’, ‘task’ and ‘working time’ onto the ‘magnitude’, of ‘company scale’ onto the amount of ‘resources’ invested in OHS, of availability of OHS-‘resources’ onto the ‘training’, and of ‘PPE usage and status’ onto the ‘frequency’. In addition, of those new findings, the two factors ‘working time’ (on ‘magnitude’) and ‘PPE usage and status’ (on ‘frequency’) were assessed as factors on which is simpler to intervene in the SME context, so that they become of strong interest for SMEs managers and entrepreneurs. In conclusion, theoretically an enterprise can modify several factors that impact on the OHS performance, but only few of them are actually well manageable by the SMEs. This small number of both effective and manageable factors for SMEs could also explain their difficult OHS conditions, if compared to the larger enterprises. We hope this paper can address their efforts towards the most impacting factors, on which it is also simpler to intervene. As for the research limitations, not all the results are currently fully generalizable. In fact, the experts panel is composed of local (Province of Lecco, Northern Italy) people, which could affect the results because of their specific cultural background. In addition, the data of the survey are related to the metalworking industry and, according for example to Bengtsson (1995), the kind of industry strongly impacts on the OHS issues, and were not specifically arranged for the investigation scope. Nevertheless, it is noteworthy that the E-merging project and its extensions in different industries and regions, will enable to simultaneously collect all the necessary data to test the whole framework in a more generalized way, thus further validating the results of this paper. Further research would be welcome to test the (not yet tested) interactions proposed by the experts panel, and to extend the results to the context of larger enterprises. Empirical research is currently ongoing on the determination of levels of intensity of the variables of the framework, in order to properly measure tangible changes within the OHS-factors and the OHS performance. In this sense, the final achievement of this research stream – of which this work is one of the first steps – should be, for a given combination of found/measured levels of company OHS-related factors, to be able to predict the expected impact on OHS performance of an identified sequence of interventions for safety improvement, without invalidating the overall business performance. Thus, the proposed set of interventions will be the best for the specific company situation.