Safety and health in micro and small enterprises in the EU: the view from the workplaceKeywords:
This report presents the findings of a study on understandings and experiences of occupational safety and health (OSH) in 162 micro and small enterprises (MSEs) selected from a range of economic sectors in nine EU Member States: Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Italy, Romania, Sweden and United Kingdom. Each case study involved a visit to the participating company and interviews with the owner-manager and a worker, as well as observations of the activities of the enterprise.
Some of the most commonly observed attitudes among the MSEs studied included having a strongly reactive approach, perceiving ‘common sense’ as a sufficient OSH measure and underestimating health risks. There are also obvious external characteristics influencing business and OSH practices in MSEs, including national regulatory and socio-economic contexts. The report discusses the implications of those attitudes and contexts.