A cross-sectional study of factors influencing occupational health and safety management practices in companies

Companies need to ensure a functioning occupational health and safety management (OHSM) system to protect human health and safety during work, but generally there are differences in how successful they are in this endeavor. Earlier research has indicated that factors like company size, safety culture, and different measures of financial performance may be related to the quality of OHSM practices in companies. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate whether these factors are associated with OHSM practices in companies. A postal questionnaire was used to collect data from a sample of Swedish manufacturing companies, and complementary data regarding the companies were retrieved from a credit bureau database. The statistical analysis was performed with ordinal regression analysis using generalized estimating equations. Different predictor variables were modeled with OHSM practices as the outcome variable, in order to calculate p-values and to estimate odds ratios. Company size, safety culture, and creditworthiness were found to be associated with better, as well as worse, OHSM practices in companies (depending on directionality). Practical implications for industry and future research are discussed.

Source: Nordlöf, H., Wiitavaara, B., Högberg, H., & Westerling, R. (2017). Safety science, 95, 92-103.

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