Occupational Health and Safety for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises

Occupational Health and Safety for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises

Edited by E. Kevin Kelloway and Cary L. Cooper

Small and medium sized enterprises constitute the vast majority of businesses in most developed economies. Although a large number of people are employed in such organizations, research and practice in occupational health and safety has largely ignored the unique challenges of this sector. In this highly relevant book, international experts in the field summarize existing knowledge and identify the best practices for enhancing occupational health and safety in small and medium sized enterprises. The authors specifically identify solutions that are appropriate for small businesses.

Chapter 7: The Work–family Nexus and Small to Medium Sized Enterprises: Implications for Worker Well-being

Michael P. O’Driscoll, Paula Brough and Jarrod Haar

Subjects: business and management, entrepreneurship, organisational behaviour


Michael P. O’Driscoll, Paula Brough and Jarrod Haar INTRODUCTION As illustrated in other chapters in this volume, small and medium sized businesses represent the majority of companies and organizations globally, although unfortunately there is no unitary, consistent definition of the concept ‘small to medium sized enterprise’. Several different criteria have been utilized to categorize organizations as SMEs, and the criteria also vary somewhat across countries. Nevertheless, it is important to qualify the nature of SMEs and to adopt an operational definition. For the purpose of this chapter, we have followed the OECD and European Union (2009) definitions, which are outlined here. The European Union (2009) defined businesses with less than ten staff as micro enterprises, while those with fewer than 50 employees are small enterprises, and under 250 employees as medium sized enterprises. Similarly, the OECD (2005) puts the upper limit designating an SME at 250 employees, noting that some countries set the limit at 200 employees, while in the United States organizations with less than 500 employees are considered SMEs. The OECD (2000) reported that 99.8 per cent of all enterprises in European Union countries were SMEs (under 250 employees), while the figure is 99 per cent in the United States (under 500 employees), and 99 per cent in Japan (under 300 employees). Small to medium sized enterprises are universal, with countries of varying sizes having quite similar proportions of smaller sized businesses. For example, New Zealand, with a population of just over 4 million people, has been found...

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