Management of health and safety in micro-firms in Cyprus – Results from a Nationwide Survey
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Management of health and safety in micro-firms (<10 employees) is a critical issue due to their lack of resources and the limited – in certain cases – knowledge on the subject. It is also an under-researched area in the international safety literature. The present paper is based on a Nationwide Survey with the cooperation of the relevant health and safety authority among micro-firms in several economic sectors. Micro-firms comprise a major percentage of business firms in a small economy like Cyprus. The survey involved the workers and the owners/managers of the firms, but also obtained information for compliance and safety performance of the particular firms from safety inspectors. The present research approach overcomes potential problems of common method bias when all data are obtained from the same group of respondents. The main purpose of this survey is to explore the organizational determinants of safety performance at the workplace in micro-firms.The paper presents only the results related to the perceptions of owners/managers and safety inspectors. Information was collected on demographic characteristics of firms and major influencing factors of safety performance such as employee participation in safety decisions, worker willingness to use personal protection measures, and safety training. The analysis of data has produced some interesting results showing the relationship between safety policy and good practices on the one hand and safety performance on the other, even in micro-firms. The safety performance measure, an index comprising several safety performance aspects assessed by the health and safety inspectors, has a positive and statistically significant correlation with the existence of safety policy in a firm, as stated by the owners/managers of firms. It has also a positive and statistically significant association with the written risk assessment of new equipment and the perceived employee willingness to use PPE (personal protection equipment).