Aim The detection of unsafe handling with work equipment in small and micro enterprises.
Introduction A well elaborated occupational safety and health policy is crucial, yet, can micro and small scaled enterprises (MSE’s) develop a good safety program, according working with workequipment?
Methods Idewe, a Belgian external service for prevention and protection at work, uses the online risk-assessment tool ‘BRIE (i.e. Better Risk Inventarisation and Evaluation) to guide occupational health and safety experts during periodic company visits. BRIE risk-assessments were performed in a convenience sample of MSE’s during the period 2015–2016. A selection of questions about safety handling (n=6) was assessed. Examples are:
Has the employer already made an inventory of the working-equipment?;
Are there good safetyinstructions for all work equipments?;
Have the employees been trained on safe use of work equipment?
Only the MSE’s where all safety factors (work equipment-related) were scored, were included for analysis. Prevalences were calculated using frequencies.
Results Brie provides, 1/a list of important sector specific OSH issues (e.g. workequipment), 2/advice regarding good practices, legal information and preventive actions and 3) an evaluation of sector specific occupational risks. Data was available from 1950 MSE’s. About 59% of the companies, did not have an inventory of there workequipment. 53% of the companies did not have any instruction for there working-equipment. Only 33% scored positive on training or education of there employees about safe use of their work equipment.
Discussion Brie risk-assessments reveal that assessments and policies regarding safe use of working equipment is non-existing in a significant number of MSE’s. MSE’s therefore need extra support, information, and advise.
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