Safety and health in micro and small enterprises in the EU: from policy to practice

Micro and small enterprises (MSEs) have difficulties managing occupational safety and health (OSH) and hence may experience poor OSH conditions and often lack systematic OSH management. The complex causes for this and the outcome in terms of work-related injuries and poor working environments are described in the first report from the Safe Small and Micro Enterprises (SESAME) project (EU-OSHA, 2016). The workplace view is described and discussed in another report from the SESAME project (EU-OSHA, forthcoming).

Even if there are problems related to OSH, there are also many good examples on how to reach out to MSEs and improve OSH conditions and OSH management among MSEs. An inventory has been made of such good examples, and selections of the examples are described in this report in order to showcase these good examples.

The descriptions of the good examples have been developed to serve as inspiration for stakeholders and intermediaries on how to reach out to and improve OSH in MSEs. The aim is also to provide sufficient information for an analysis of what kind of initiatives work, how the good examples have been or can be tailored to the target group and how they can be adapted to the needs, prerequisites and context of the target groups in order to answer the question ‘What works, for whom and under what circumstances?’ (Pawson and Tilley, 1997).

The rich variety of good examples illustrates the wide range of available means to improve OSH. The examples vary in purpose and aim, methods, targeted sectors and actors, dissemination of knowledge, and sustainability, to mention some of the most important dimensions. The 44 good examples are grouped according to their main themes and approaches. Each theme is briefly commented on, in order to highlight other examples that apply a similar approach but are presented under other themes. They are also commented on to present different aspects on the themes.

In the report from work package (WP)3 of the SESAME project, the experience and insights learned from the 44 good examples described below are included in the overall discussion of the findings from WP3 in order to get a deeper understanding of the mechanisms and dynamics behind the examples, what MSEs they are aimed at, what has been achieved and what mechanisms make them effective. This answers the core question ‘What works, for whom and under what circumstances?’. Based on this analysis, it is also discussed how these examples can be developed and improved in order to be more efficient and effective.

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Last updated: 2021-06-24

IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute

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IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute has a wide environmental profile. We combine applied research and development with close collaboration between industry and the public sphere. Our consultancy is evidence-based, and our research is characterized by interdisciplinary science and system thinking.


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