Integration of safety in management tasks in onshore transport SME´s

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    In EU, the transport sector has an incident rate of accidents at work of 40 per 1000 employees. The transport sector is characterized by many small enterprises of which 97% of the enterprises in Denmark have less than 50 employees and 89% have less than 10 employees. The safety problems for the employees are the activities carried out when loading, unloading or work with transport equipment carried out at many different work places. The main safety problems are falls, heavy lifting, poor ergonomic working conditions, hits or collisions with goods, falling objects, the traffic risk situations, work with animals and the risk of violence and robbery. To create a high level of safety in an enterprise is a difficult task that demands a great degree of management engagement. It is not only a question of having the right equipment, procedures and organization etc.; it is also necessary for everyone in the enterprise to have an understanding of safety and feel obligated to take responsibility for safety in all work at all times. Accident research shows that safety must be integrated in the whole enterprise and function on all levels of management, while it must also involve all employees in their daily work. It is important to emphasize training in safety, good communication, good order and a stable staff of employees. Pro-active accident prevention also involves process, communication and organization, where management plays a significant role, which includes its ability to involve both middlelevel management and employees in creating a high level of safety. These findings are mostly derived, however, from large enterprises. The research question is: “How can experiences from large enterprises regarding how to achieve good safety be adapted and applied to small enterprises in a branch such as the transport sector. The aim is to present tools and barriers for SME´s on how to integrate safety activities in the daily work fulfilled with other duties and few resources. An action based study for the prevention of accidents has been carried out in six SME transport enterprises over a three- year period. The study has been organized together with the employers to follow their plan for integrating safety into their basic work. The methods has been an action oriented research model, where together the researcher and the enterprises have developed and made experiences with the use of different tools for accident prevention. The result is a realistic strategy for integration safety, quality and environmental factors in an SME and procedures for how to go from strategy to action. Different tools were developed to fulfil the strategy ranging from risk identification, involvement of the employee and motivational activities. These tools are designed to simplify the safety management methods, but they were adjusted to a new focus and awareness for managers of small enterprises including documentation of the SME´s own internal costs of compensation for all damages and injuries. However, several factors create barriers for the SMEs’ efforts, even when there is a visible economical advantage to be gained.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings - WOS 8th international conference
    PublisherWOS2015 Scientific Committee
    Publication date2015
    ISBN (Electronic)978-989-98203-4-0
    Publication statusPublished - 2015
    Event8th International Conference on Working on Safety: Smart Prevention for Sustainable Safety - Sheraton Porto Hotel & Spa., Porto, Portugal
    Duration: 23 Sep 201525 Sep 2015
    Conference number: 8


    Conference8th International Conference on Working on Safety
    LocationSheraton Porto Hotel & Spa.

    Bibliographical note

    Abstracts page 31


    • Integration of Safety
    • Management in SME´s
    • The transport sector


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