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Title: Occupational safety and health and smaller organisations: research challenges and opportunities
Authors: Pinder, James
Gibb, Alistair G.F.
Dainty, Andrew R.J.
Jones, Wendy
Fray, Mike
Hartley, Ruth
Cheyne, Alistair
Finneran, Aoife
Glover, Jane
Haslam, Roger
Morgan, Jennie
Waterson, Patrick
Gosling, Elaine Yolande
Bust, Phillip D.
Pink, Sarah
Keywords: Enactments
Micro organisations
Tacit knowledge
Issue Date: 2016
Publisher: © Taylor & Francis
Citation: PINDER, J.A. ... et al, 2016. Occupational safety and health and smaller organisations: research challenges and opportunities. Policy and Practice in Health and Safety, 14 (1), pp. 34-49.
Abstract: Despite the prevalence of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and micro organisations, comparatively little is known about how such organisations approach occupational safety and health (OSH). Research has tended to present a negative picture of OSH practices in smaller organisations. This paper discusses some of the challenges to researching OSH in SMEs and micro organisations and how these challenges can be overcome. It draws lessons and experiences from a qualitative study involving 149 structured interviews, nine short-term ethnographies and 21 semistructured interviews with owners and employees in SMEs and micro organisations from a broad cross-section of industry sectors in the UK, including construction, retail, healthcare, logistics and agriculture. Data from the study suggest that the established boundaries between micro, small and medium-sized enterprises are less meaningful in an OSH context – OSH practices are influenced more by the culture of the organisation, the type of work being undertaken and the sector that an organisation operates in. OSH practices in SMEs and micro organisations tend to reflect the more informal characteristics of such organisations, with more emphasis (than many larger organisations) on tacit knowledge, learning by doing and improvisation. Such practices should not necessarily be assumed to be unsafe or incompatible with formalised OSH.
Description: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Policy and Practice in Health and Safety on 28 Oct 2016, available online: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14773996.2016.1239357
Version: Accepted for publication
DOI: 10.1080/14773996.2016.1239357
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/22779
Publisher Link: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14773996.2016.1239357
ISSN: 1477-3996
Appears in Collections:Published Articles (Design School)
Published Articles (Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering)
Published Articles (Business)

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