Perceptions of health and safety standards in small-medium enterprises: A comparison between the perception of employers and health and safety officers
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This study examines the perceptions of health and safety (H&S) standards in small-medium enterprises (SMEs) between the employers and H&S officers. This was achieved using anonymous data from a local authority intervention in Bridgend, South Wales. It poses the question: Are there similarities in opinions of employers and visiting H&S officers, on the standard of health and safety in SMEs? Employers of SMEs were asked to rate their awareness of H&S duties. Visiting officers were then tasked with assessing their opinion by rating the overall H&S performance of the business. This study then looked at differences and similarities of opinion by industry sector. Analysis of data was undertaken to identify correlations between the two opinions. Statistically significant similarities were found within the standard of H&S in the SMEs between the employers and officers. Industry sectors that had similarities of opinion included: entertainment and leisure, light industrial and retail. Other industry sectors were less aware of their H&S duties, which meant there was a difference in opinion between the two parties. Therefore, it is recommended that governing bodies should focus on specific industries when giving advice to SMEs in relation to interpreting legislation
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