hig.sePublications
Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Prerequisites and Possibilities for Manufacturing Companies to Prioritize and Manage Occupational Health and Safety
University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research. Uppsala universitet, Institutionen för folkhälso- och vårdvetenskap, Socialmedicin.
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Legislation demands that health and safety of humans at work must be secured. Today, far from every company has a functioning systematic management of occupational health and safety (OHS) in place to fulfill its legal obligations. Instead, other day-to-day tasks appear to have greater priority.

The overall aim of this thesis was to investigate prerequisites and possibilities for manufacturing companies to prioritize and manage OHS, with focus on professional roles, company size, safety culture, and financial performance.

Four papers (I–IV) are included in this thesis, based on three data collections. A questionnaire measuring the priority accorded to work environment was completed by 249 representatives of 142 manufacturing companies (I & II). Focus group interviews were conducted with 66 workers at a large steel-manufacturing company, discussing their experiences and perceptions of safety and risks at work (III). A questionnaire measuring OHS management practices, safety culture, and priority given to work environment was completed by 280 representatives of 197 manufacturing companies (IV). Information regarding the companies’ financial performance was retrieved from a credit bureau database.

The main findings of the four papers demonstrated that profitability was considered as the most prioritized interest in the companies (I), and that trade-offs between productivity and safety is an obstacle to working safely (III). Managers generally perceived their companies to prioritize work environment factors more than the safety delegates did (I & IV). Perceptions of work environment priority did, however, not differ depending on company size (II & IV). Responsibility for safety was perceived to rest on the individual to the largest extent, and risk-taking was believed to originate from a combination of individual factors and external circumstances in the work environment (III). Larger company size, positive safety culture, and low risk in creditworthiness were found to be associated with better OHS management practices in companies (IV). Correspondingly, smaller company size, negative safety culture, and high risk in creditworthiness were found to be associated with worse OHS management practices.

In summary, structural, social, and financial aspects seem to be important in companies’ possibilities for prioritizing and managing OHS. Recommendations for industry and future research are discussed.

Abstract [sv]

Arbetsmiljölagen kräver att människors hälsa och säkerhet på arbetet ska tryggas genom att risker kontinuerligt ska bedömas och åtgärdas. Många företag saknar idag ett fungerande systematiskt arbetsmiljöarbete (SAM) som uppfyller lagens krav fullt ut. Istället tycks andra dagliga aktiviteter ha högre prioritet.

Det övergripande syftet med denna avhandling var att undersöka förutsättningar och möjligheter för tillverkande företag att prioritera och arbeta med säkerheten och arbetsmiljön; med särskilt fokus på yrkesroller, företagsstorlek, säkerhet och finansiella nyckeltal.

Fyra delstudier (I–IV) ingår i denna avhandling, vilka är baserade på tre datainsamlingar. En enkät som mätte arbetsmiljöprioritering besvarades av 249 representanter vid 142 tillverkande företag (I & II). Fokusgruppintervjuer genomfördes med 66 arbetare på ett stort ståltillverkningsföretag, där deras erfarenheter och uppfattningar om säkerhet och risker i arbetet diskuterades (III). En enkät som mätte SAM, säkerhetskultur och arbetsmiljöprioritering besvarades av 280 representanter vid 197 tillverkande företag (IV). Information om företagens finansiella nyckeltal hämtades från ett kreditupplysningsföretag.

De viktigaste resultaten från de fyra delstudierna kan bland annat sammanfattas med att lönsamheten uppfattades vara det mest prioriterade intresset vid företagen (I), och att avvägningar mellan produktivitet och säkerhet ansågs vara ett hinder för att kunna arbeta på ett säkert sätt (III). Chefer uppfattade generellt att arbetsmiljön prioriterades mer på företagen än vad skyddsombuden gjorde (I & IV). Uppfattningar om arbetsmiljöprioritering skiljde sig dock inte åt beroende på företagsstorlek (II & IV). Ansvaret för säkerheten på arbetet ansågs främst vila hos den enskilda individen, och risktagande betraktades komma ur en kombination av individuella faktorer och yttre omständigheter i arbetsmiljön (III). Att vara ett större företag, ha positiv säkerhetskultur och hög kreditvärdighet visade sig ha samband med att också ha ett bättre utvecklat SAM (IV). På motsvarande sätt, att vara ett mindre företag, ha negativ säkerhetskultur och låg kreditvärdighet befanns ha samband med att också ha ett sämre utvecklat SAM.

Sammanfattningsvis verkar därmed strukturella, sociala såväl som ekonomiska aspekter vara väsentliga för företags möjligheter att prioritera och arbeta med säkerheten och arbetsmiljön. Detta ger uppslag till rekommendationer för industrin samt vidare forskning.

Abstract [de]

Das Arbeitsschutzgesetz verlangt, dass die Sicherheit und Gesundheit (SG) von Menschen am Arbeitsplatz gewährleistet werden muss, indem Risiken kontinuierlich überprüft und behoben werden. Vielen Unternehmen fehlt heutzutage eine systematische Handhabung von SG, die den gesetzlichen Anforderungen vollständig entspricht. Stattdessen scheinen andere alltägliche Tätigkeiten eine höhere Priorität zu haben.

Das übergeordnete Ziel der vorliegenden Abhandlung war es zu untersuchen, welche Voraussetzungen und Möglichkeiten herstellende Unternehmen besitzen, SG am Arbeitsplatz zu priorisieren und handzuhaben – unter besonderer Berücksichtigung von Berufsrollen, Unternehmensgröße, Sicherheitskultur und Finanzleistungen.

Die vorliegende Abhandlung besteht aus vier Teilstudien (I–IV), die auf drei Datensammlungen basieren. Die Priorisierung von SG wurde mit einem Fragebogen untersucht, der von 249 Vertretern aus 142 herstellenden Unternehmen beantwortet wurde (I & II). Fokusgruppeninterviews wurden mit 66 Arbeitern eines großen Stahlherstellers durchgeführt, in welchen die Arbeiter ihre Erfahrungen und Wahrnehmungen von Sicherheit und Berufsrisiken diskutierten (III). Ein weiterer Fragebogen enthielt Fragen zur systematischen Handhabung von SG, Sicherheitskultur und Priorisierung von SG und wurde von 280 Vertretern aus 197 herstellenden Unternehmen beantwortet (IV). Angaben zu den Finanzleistungen der Unternehmen wurden einem öffentlichen Register entnommen.

Die wichtigsten Ergebnisse der vier Teilstudien können unter anderem damit zusammengefasst werden, dass die Rentabilität des Unternehmens als höchste Priorität wahrgenommen wurde (I) und dass Kompromisse zwischen Produktivität und Sicherheit als Hindernis für eine sichere Arbeitsweise beurteilt wurden (III). Manager waren im Allgemeinen häufiger als die Sicherheitsbeauftragten der Unternehmen der Auffassung, dass SG priorisiert werden (I & IV). Der Unterschied in der Wahrnehmung der Prioritätensetzung hing jedoch nicht von der Unternehmensgröße ab (II & IV). Sicherheit am Arbeitsplatz wurde in erster Linie als die Verantwortung des einzelnen Mitarbeiters angesehen und das Eingehen von Risiken als eine Kombination aus individuellen Faktoren und äußeren Umständen im Arbeitsumfeld beurteilt (III). Ein großes Unternehmen zu sein, eine positive Sicherheitskultur zu haben und niedriges Risiko in der Kreditwürdigkeit, erwies sich mit einer besser entwickelten systematischen Handhabung von SG in Zusammenhang zu stehen (IV). Dementsprechend erwies es sich, dass kleine Unternehmen, eine negative Sicherheitskultur und hohes Risiko in der Kreditwürdigkeit, mit einer schlechter entwickelten systematischen Handhabung von SG in Zusammenhang stehen.

Zusammenfassend scheinen also strukturelle, soziale und finanzielle Aspekte grundlegend dafür zu sein, ob ein Unternehmen die Möglichkeit hat, SG zu priorisieren und zu handhaben. Dies dient als Vorlage für Empfehlungen für die Industrie und zukünftige Forschung.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis , 2015. , 68 p.
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206 ; 1146
Keyword [en]
Occupational health and safety (OHS), Small and medium-sized enterprizes (SMEs), Professional roles, Company size, Safety culture, Financial performance
Keyword [de]
Systematische Handhabung von Sicherheit und Gesundheit, Arbeitsschutzmanagementsystem (AMS), Kleine und mittlere Unternehmen (KMU), Berufsrollen, Unternehmensgröße, Sicherheitskultur, Finanzleistung
Keyword [sv]
Systematiskt arbetsmiljöarbete (SAM), Små och medelstora företag (SMF), Yrkesroller, Företagsstorlek, Säkerhetskultur, Finansiella nyckeltal
National Category
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology Environmental Health and Occupational Health Work Sciences Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Research subject
Medical Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-20570ISBN: 978-91-554-9372-1OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-20570DiVA: diva2:868236
Public defence
2015-12-03, Krusenstjernasalen (23:213), Kungsbäcksvägen 47, Gävle, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2015-11-10 Created: 2015-11-10 Last updated: 2015-11-10Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. A comparison of managers’ and safety delegates’ perceptions of work environment priorities in the manufacturing industry
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A comparison of managers’ and safety delegates’ perceptions of work environment priorities in the manufacturing industry
2012 (English)In: Human Factors and Ergonomics in Manufacturing, ISSN 1090-8471, E-ISSN 1520-6564, Vol. 22, no 3, 235-247 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This study investigated the attention and priority accorded to factors of work environment within manufacturing companies, as perceived by managers and safety delegates at small- and medium-sized enterprises. Representatives from 142 Swedish manufacturing companies answered a 43-item questionnaire covering seven areas of the work environment and a priority-ranking question of company interests. Respondents (n = 249) rated the present situation and the situation one year earlier, using a visual analogue scale. The findings showed that both managers and safety delegates ranked profitability as the main company interest. Respondents rated the priorities of the work environment currently as higher than one year earlier (p = <0.05). Managers rated the priorities of the work environment higher than did the safety delegates (p = <0.05). We conclude that the two professional roles, managers and safety delegates, differ in their perceptions as of to which extent different work environment factors are being attended to.

Keyword
Occupational health and safety (OHS), Workplace, Small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), Profitability, Professional roles
National Category
Social Sciences Work Sciences Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-7701 (URN)10.1002/hfm.20263 (DOI)000303194700005 ()2-s2.0-84860676039 (ScopusID)
Projects
Ergopriset
Available from: 2010-10-05 Created: 2010-10-05 Last updated: 2016-01-22Bibliographically approved
2. Perceptions of work environment priorities: Are there any differences by company size? — An ecological study
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Perceptions of work environment priorities: Are there any differences by company size? — An ecological study
2015 (English)In: Work: A journal of Prevention, Assesment and rehabilitation, ISSN 1051-9815, E-ISSN 1875-9270, Vol. 52, no 3, 697-706 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

BACKGROUND: Earlier studies suggest that the quality of handling occupational health and safety (OHS) activities differs between companies of different sizes. Company size is a proxy variable for other variables affecting OHS performance.

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to investigate if there is an association between company size and perceptions of work environment prioritizations.

METHODS: Data from 106 small- and medium-sized Swedish manufacturing companies was collected. One manager and one safety delegate at each company rated different aspects of their companies' work environment prioritizations with a 43-item questionnaire. Ratings were aggregated to a summary statistic for each company before analysis.

RESULTS: No significant differences in perceptions of priority were found to be associated with company sizes. This is in contrast to earlier studies of objective differences. The respondents in small companies, however, showed significantly greater consensus in their ratings.

CONCLUSIONS: Company size does not appear to be associated with perceptions of work environment prioritizations. Company size is an important proxy variable to study in order to understand what factors enable and obstruct safe and healthy workplaces. The work presented here should be viewed as an initial exploration to serve as direction for future academic work.

Keyword
Company size, Occupational health and safety (OHS), Ergonomics, Perceptions, Consensus
National Category
Work Sciences Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-16277 (URN)10.3233/WOR-152123 (DOI)000366059600028 ()26409368 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-84948731955 (ScopusID)
Available from: 2014-02-06 Created: 2014-02-06 Last updated: 2017-01-09Bibliographically approved
3. Safety culture and reasons for risk-taking at a large steel-manufacturing company: Investigating the worker perspective
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Safety culture and reasons for risk-taking at a large steel-manufacturing company: Investigating the worker perspective
Show others...
2015 (English)In: Safety Science, ISSN 0925-7535, E-ISSN 1879-1042, Vol. 73, 126-135 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Workers in the steel-manufacturing industry face many safety risks due to the nature of the job. How well safety procedures and regulations are followed within an organization is considered to be influenced by the reigning culture of the organization. The aim of this study was to investigate and describe safety culture and risk-taking at a large steel-manufacturing company in Sweden by exploring workers’ experiences and perceptions of safety and risks. Ten focus group interviews were conducted with a total of 66 workers. In the interviews, the situation of safety at work was discussed in a semi-structured manner. The material was analyzed inductively using qualitative content analysis. The analysis resulted in a thorough description of safety culture and risk-taking at the company, based on the following five main categories: 1. Acceptance of risks, one simply has to accept the safety risks of the work environment, 2. Individual responsibility for safety, the responsibility for safe procedures rests to the largest extent on the individual, 3. Trade-off between productivity and safety, these are conflicting entities, wanting to produce as well as wanting to work safely, 4. Importance of communication, it is needed for safety actions to be effective, and 5. State-of-the-day and external conditions, an interplay between these factors affect risk-taking. In sociotechnical systems theory it is acknowledged that there are interactions between social and technical factors in organizations. The findings of this study are interpreted to be in line with a sociotechnical understanding of safety culture and risk-taking.

Keyword
Occupational health and safety (OHS), Safety culture, Risk-taking, Steel manufacturing, Qualitative content analysis, Concept of human-technology-organization (HTO)
National Category
Work Sciences Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-15880 (URN)10.1016/j.ssci.2014.11.020 (DOI)000348088600015 ()2-s2.0-84916898080 (ScopusID)
Available from: 2013-12-13 Created: 2013-12-13 Last updated: 2015-11-10Bibliographically approved
4. A cross-sectional study of factors influencing occupational health and safety management practices in companies
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A cross-sectional study of factors influencing occupational health and safety management practices in companies
2015 (English)Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Keyword
Occupational health and safety (OHS), Safety culture, Manufacturing, Work environment, Financial performance, Generalized estimating equations (GEE)
National Category
Work Sciences Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-20416 (URN)
Available from: 2015-10-13 Created: 2015-10-13 Last updated: 2016-03-17Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Other links

Fulltext

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Nordlöf, Hasse
By organisation
Department of Occupational and Public Health SciencesCentre for Musculoskeletal Research
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and EpidemiologyEnvironmental Health and Occupational HealthWork SciencesProduction Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar

Total: 634 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link