The purpose of this paper is to identify and assess the risks and potential risks that may lead to accidents. It aims to look at how to improve risk assessment within SMEs for the benefit of all staff.
The research included results from a Dutch project which identifies accident risks and safety barriers that are presented in a huge database and risk calculator. The method was first to develop a simple way of accessing this enormous amount of data, second, to develop a tool to observe risks and safety barriers in SMEs and to investigate the usefulness of the developed tools in real life, third, to collect data on risks and safety barriers in SMEs for two occupations by following 20 people for three days each and to create a risk profile for each occupations.
The result is a simple way to go through all types of risks for accidents – a tool for risk observations for external safety experts, and useful for SMEs and for risk profiles for two occupations. Finally some experiences about the needs and difficulties in risk awareness in small enterprises as well as requirements for the employer and the employees.
The limitation of the project is that the results have not been tested in SMEs and that the number of people observed and observations days are limited mainly because there was limited time for the project.
The article considers the dilemma that although accident frequency is higher in SMEs, most small companies experience no serious accidents; thus, they are not challenged to focus on safety, neither being aware of the risk of accidents nor being able to identify risk before the accident happens with the purpose of acting and taking action to prevent accidents.
The value of the project is the observation tool and the identification of risks, and being aware of what an employer and employee can do to minimise such risks.
Jørgensen, K., Jan Duijm, N. and Troen, H. (2011), "Demonstration of risk profiling for promoting safety in SMEs", International Journal of Workplace Health Management, Vol. 4 No. 2, pp. 179-193. https://doi.org/10.1108/17538351111143330
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