A CROSS SECTIONAL STUDY EXPLORING THE PERCEPTIONS OF SMALL AND MEDIUM SIZED ENTERPRISES REGARDING THEIR LEGAL HEALTH AND SAFETY AWARNESS
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Aim: This study explores small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) perception relating to their awareness of their legal health and safety duties, whilst documenting attendance rates of a health and safety intervention event. Methods: A quantitative methodology was implemented using a cross section study design using analysis of 374 structured face to face interviews which were conducted in Bridgend, United Kingdom. Results: Overall, SMEs perceived their level of awareness regarding their legal health and safety duties to be high, whilst also indicating a high amount of interest in the health and safety intervention event. The SME group with the lowest awareness level was deemed to be micro-small enterprises. Despite the initial interest in the intervention event, the attendance rates were poor. Many of the enterprises who attended the event stated that they had high levels of awareness. Conclusions: This study demonstrates that smaller enterprises with low levels of health and safety awareness are in most need of health and safety interventions. This understanding points to the need for more advisory based intervention areas. Furthermore, due to poor engagement and participation the study highlights a further need to develop a different health and safety intervention approach. Moreover, additional research is required to identify why SMEs fail to engage or participate in health and safety interventions. Keywords: Environmental health, SMEs, perception of legal health and safety duties, occupational health and safety, United Kingdom.
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