Small enterprises have limited resources to prioritise occupational health and safety (OHS) so regulators and other stakeholders have developed programmes to support them. The present study analysed the factors influencing active participation of small construction and auto repair enterprises to engage in a Danish national OHS programme focusing on the prevention of wear and tear of the musculoskeletal system. The programme provided the enterprises with financial support and support from a facilitator. The study was a qualitative case study supplemented with selected survey data from the enterprises and qualitative data from stakeholders involved in the implementation of the programme. The results showed that the way the programme was introduced through labour inspectors, employer associations, or networks influenced the motivation of the enterprises to engage in the programme. The motivation for active participation also depended on the content of the prevention package, the economic support and the possibility for facilitation. The decision to start the implementation process depended on whether the owner-managers acknowledged the need for the new OHS approach and whether they found the process meaningful. Contextual factors, as experienced by the owner-managers, influenced the motivation for active participation. These included inter alia general attitude towards authorities and procedures, access to relevant projects and technical equipment, the characteristics of the manager, and the workplace culture. It is concluded that contextual factors can limit the efficacy of programme mechanisms and should be taken into account when designing programmes.
Safety Science, 2015, Vol 71, Issue Part C, p. 253-263
Workplace intervention, small enterprises, musculoskeletal disorders, regulation, realist evaluation; Workplace intervention; Small enterprises; Musculoskeletal disorders; Regulation; Realist analysis