Safety activities in small businesses.
Saf Sci 2014 Apr; 64:32-38
Background: Workplace injuries occur at higher rates in smaller firms than in larger firms, and the number of workplace safety activities appear to be inversely associated with those rates. Predictors of safety activities are rarely studied. Methods: This study uses data from a national random survey of firms (n= 722) with less than 250 employees conducted in 2002. Results: We found that, regardless of firm size or industry, safety activities were more common in 2002 than they were in a similar 1983 study. Having had an OSHA inspection in the last five years and firm size were stronger predictors of safety activities than industry hazardousness and manager's perceptions of hazardousness. All four variables were significant predictors (ß range .19 to .28; R2= 27). Conclusions: Further progress in the prevention of injuries in small firms will require attention to factors likely subsumed within the firm size variable, especially the relative lack of slack resources that might be devoted to safety activities.
Injuries; Small-businesses; Workers; Worker-health; Work-environment; Safety-measures; Safety-practices; Monitoring-systems;
Author Keywords; Small business; Workplace monitoring; Safety practices; Work-related injuries
Thomas R. Cunningham, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 4676 Columbia Parkway, Cincinnati, OH, 45243