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Assessment of occupational safety and health programs in small businesses.
Barbeau E; Roelofs C; Youngstrom R; Sorensen G; Stoddard A; LaMontagne AD
Am J Ind Med 2004 Apr; 45(4):371-379
Background: Occupational safety and health (OSH) programs are a strategy for protecting workers' health, yet there are few peer-reviewed reports on methods for assessing them, or on the prevalent characteristics of OSH programs, especially in small businesses. Methods: We adapted an occupational safety and health administration (OSHA) survey instrument to assess: management commitment and employee participation, workplace analysis, hazard prevention and control, and education and training. This was supplemented by a series of open-ended questions. We administered the survey in 25 small worksites. Results: Scores for each element ranged widely, with distribution of most scores being positively skewed. Barriers to addressing OSH included lack of time and in-house expertise, and production pressures. External agents, including corporate parents, liability insurers, and OSHA, played an important role in motivating OSH programs. Conclusions: Small businesses were able to mount comprehensive programs, however, they may rely on outside resources for this task. Being small may not be a barrier to meeting the requirements of an OSHA program management rule.
Exposure-assessment; Risk-analysis; Analytical-processes; Occupational-safety-programs; Occupational-health-programs; Small-businesses; Author Keywords: occupational safety and health programs; occupational safety and health management systems; assessment methods; qualitative-quantitative; occupational safety and health policy; intervention research
Elizabeth Barbeau, Center for Community-Based Research, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 44 Binney Street, Boston, MA 02115
Issue of Publication
Research Tools and Approaches: Intervention Effectiveness Research
American Journal of Industrial Medicine
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts