922 Work equipment and unsafe use in micro and small enterprises


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Abstract

AimThe detection of unsafe handling with work equipment in small and micro enterprises.IntroductionA 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?MethodsIdewe, 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.ResultsBrie 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.DiscussionBrie 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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