Bikram Pandey, Ph D Student                                     Supervisors                            Ian Laird, Associat...
Plan of Presentation                Introduction                Study Objectives                Approach              ...
Introduction  Small Businesses     Characteristics                Simple organizational structure                Less ...
Introduction  Small Businesses     Having hazardous work environment                Limited coverage by regulatory poli...
Study Objectives        Exploratory study to relate social relations             between employers and employees with    ...
Approach    Case studies - three small restaurant and cafe business        cases          Employing 6-19 employees count...
Approach  The four elements of LTWE        Element of Experience                    Work environment (OHS) problems    ...
Methods  Qualitative method of data collection and analysis        Semi structured face to face interviews              ...
Results Case descriptions       3 café/ restaurants in PN city area (#1, 2, 3)                #1 café service – #2 café/...
Results  Health and safety management    Informal    Little formalised systems (hazard management)    Knowledge of H &...
Results       3 factors (foundations) of the social relations of       work were found to be important;              Sens...
Results    Sense of ownership        Having a say or no say        Employer dealing with problems as his own        Em...
Results        Norms of social exchange            Looking after each other            Making sure everyones safe in th...
Results  (Lack of) Work protocol      Perceived equality/ inequality dealing with issues      See the boss as one of yo...
Results   Influence of social relation on understanding of risks       Acceptance of OHS risks                   Accept...
Results       The influences - examples                Sense of ownership                    they are not necessarily t...
Results      The influences - examples            Norms of social exchange                .. say if I’ve spilt oil on t...
Results       The influences - exemplar                (Lack of) Work protocol/sphere of control                    the...
Conclusions         Given the smallness of SBs, sense of ownership, norms of social             exchange and (lack of) wo...
THANK YOU!!03/11/2011                 20
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Employers’ and Employees’ Understanding of OHS Risks and the social relations of work: Findings from three small business cases

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Bikram R Pandey
B.R.Pandey@massey.ac.nz

(P15, Wednesday 26, Civic Room 2, 1.30)

Published in: Health & Medicine, Business
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Employers’ and Employees’ Understanding of OHS Risks and the social relations of work: Findings from three small business cases

  1. 1. Bikram Pandey, Ph D Student Supervisors Ian Laird, Associate Professor, Stephen Legg, Professor, Kirsten Olsen, Senior Lecturer, Peter Hasle1, Senior ResearcherCentre for Ergonomics, Occupational Health and Safety, Massey University, Palmerston North 1The National Research Centre for Working Environment, Copenhagen, Denmark
  2. 2. Plan of Presentation  Introduction  Study Objectives  Approach  Methods  Results  Conclusion03/11/2011 2
  3. 3. Introduction  Small Businesses  Characteristics  Simple organizational structure  Less formalised OHS systems  Close social relation (Legg et.al., 2009)03/11/2011 3
  4. 4. Introduction  Small Businesses  Having hazardous work environment  Limited coverage by regulatory policies (Lamm, 2002; Legg, et al., 2009)  Difficulty for external intervention (Hasle, 2009)  Limited availability of resources (Champoux & Brun, 2003; Hasle & Jensen, 2006; Hasle & Limborg, 2006)  Differences in understanding of OHS risks – causes and control (Holmes & Gifford, 1997)  Negative employment relation translated into difference in narrating health problems (Eakin)  Little is known about how social relation influences understanding and control of OHS risks03/11/2011 4
  5. 5. Study Objectives  Exploratory study to relate social relations between employers and employees with understanding of OHS risks  What the social relations are based on  Influences of social relations on understanding of OHS risks by owner/manager and employees03/11/2011 5
  6. 6. Approach  Case studies - three small restaurant and cafe business cases  Employing 6-19 employees count (EC),  Independently owned (Owner-managed),  In operation for more than a year  Local Theory of Work Environment (LTWE) used as the theoretical framework (Jensen, 2002)  Four elements of LTWE  Element of Experience  Element of Casual relation  Element of Legitimisation  Element of Action03/11/2011 6
  7. 7. Approach  The four elements of LTWE  Element of Experience  Work environment (OHS) problems  Element of Casual relation  The causal relation behind these problems  Element of Legitimisation  Legitimate (arguments) to bring up these problems  Element of Action  Course of action needed to remedy these problems03/11/2011 7
  8. 8. Methods  Qualitative method of data collection and analysis  Semi structured face to face interviews  Owner/ managers  Employees  Ethnographic observation  Observer participant – working in the café & recording observations & notes when possible  Hermeneutical Circle and canons of interpretation (Kvale, 1996)  Interpretation of whole data; interpretation of parts of data; comparing the two interpretations with reference to existing knowledge03/11/2011 8
  9. 9. Results Case descriptions  3 café/ restaurants in PN city area (#1, 2, 3)  #1 café service – #2 café/restaurant - #3 restaurant service  No employees/ management structure  1. 8 EC - single owner  2. 13 EC – single owner  3.19 EC – three owners  Layout (1,2,3)  Front of house/ kitchen area/ dining area/  Coffee making/ order till  Dish wash/ food preparation/ cooking area/ chiller03/11/2011 9
  10. 10. Results  Health and safety management  Informal  Little formalised systems (hazard management)  Knowledge of H & S legislation varied (owners and employees)  Not unionised  Owner exercised direct control over H & S issues.  More concern with food hygiene regulations than H & S.03/11/2011 10
  11. 11. Results 3 factors (foundations) of the social relations of work were found to be important;  Sense of ownership  Norms of social exchange  (Lack of) Work protocol03/11/2011 11
  12. 12. Results  Sense of ownership  Having a say or no say  Employer dealing with problems as his own  Employer gets involved, when required, to support staff03/11/2011 12
  13. 13. Results  Norms of social exchange  Looking after each other  Making sure everyones safe in the work environment03/11/2011 13
  14. 14. Results  (Lack of) Work protocol  Perceived equality/ inequality dealing with issues  See the boss as one of you  It’s like a family03/11/2011 14
  15. 15. Results  Influence of social relation on understanding of risks  Acceptance of OHS risks  Acceptance of problems and their causes,  Legitimisation of the problems and acceptance of the reasons for bringing up  Acceptance of the course of action to control the OHS problems  The influences  Sense of ownership on acceptance of problems and the causes  Norms of social exchange on course of action  Work protocol on legitimisation of problems03/11/2011 15
  16. 16. Results  The influences - examples  Sense of ownership  they are not necessarily the ones who have to work here all the time .. whereas it’s our work environment we want to set it up to suit how we work (E)  he was just always there …. your problems were his problems ... whenever we get busy he will do tables and serve and wash dishes .... understands what we go through (E)03/11/2011 16
  17. 17. Results  The influences - examples  Norms of social exchange  .. say if I’ve spilt oil on the floor … I want everyone know in the kitchen …. ‘hey, I have spilt some oil...please watch out’..... (E)  Just looking after your fellow worker as much as yourself (E)  If the floor is over slippery, if the electrical are damaged or something like that they say ‘why should we work in this environment?’ (ER)  you have to make sure that everybody is safe in their work environment… because if they are not there is no reason why they would want to work for you. (ER)03/11/2011 17
  18. 18. Results  The influences - exemplar  (Lack of) Work protocol/sphere of control  they (employer) walk in and when there are empty cups on the table they will clear them... almost like one big happy family.... it tends to take a lot of pressure off the people.  Our oil box that we have down on the corner. That drips so badly (the oil is kept near the door) no one’s bothered to move it really.  it all gets dealt with according to the protocol ... the oil is next to the door and we have issues with it spilling over.. But I don’t think that has really ever been brought to anybody’s attention as a very important thing.03/11/2011 18
  19. 19. Conclusions  Given the smallness of SBs, sense of ownership, norms of social exchange and (lack of) work protocol/ sphere of control are three foundations of social relation between employer and employees.  They are concurrent and synergistic  Different social relations have more or less different influence on the four elements of LTWE  Therefore, the social relations at work, are important for communication and control of OHS risks in SBs03/11/2011 19
  20. 20. THANK YOU!!03/11/2011 20

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