Work attitudes and safety performance in micro-firms – Results from a nationwide survey: (the opinion of the employees)
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Management of health and safety in micro-enterprises (less than 10 employees) is a critical issue due to the relatively high level of injuries in such firms. 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 enforcement authority among micro-firms in several economic sectors. Micro-enterprises comprise a major percentage (95.4%) of business firms in a small economy like Cyprus. The survey examined the perceptions and work attitudes of workers and their relationship with safety performance of the particular firms.This paper presents the results related to the perceptions of employees. A previous paper presented the results focusing on employers. Information was collected on their demographic characteristics and major influencing factors of safety performance like employee participation in safety decisions and safety training. The safety performance measure, an index comprising several safety performance aspects was assessed by the health and safety (labour) inspectors, in order to overcome potential problems of common method bias when all data are obtained from the same group of respondents.The findings suggest that safety performance has a positive and statistically significant correlation with safety training provided by the firm. It has also a positive and statistically significant association with the safety information available to employees and with the perceived safety conditions. The effect of the participation of workers in safety decisions and their organizational commitment, although significantly correlated with safety performance as individual variables, are not statistically significant after controlling for the effect of the other variables mentioned above. The results show the important relationship between safety training and other good practices (like provision of information and improved safety conditions) on safety performance in micro-firms.