Cost-Effectiveness of Safety Measures in Enterprises

Piia Tint, Õnnela Paas, Karin Reinhold

Abstract


Safety auditing is a systematic method to evaluate the company’s safety management system. The main task of auditing is to establish whether the correct types of safety methods are used and whether they are effectively implemented. The safety auditing in Estonian enterprises (on the basis of European Union legislation, Standards OHSAS 18001:1999 and BS 8800:1996) is only in the beginning stage. As the prerequisite to the paper the safety auditing in 12 medium- and small-scale enterprises in Estonia from 5 branches of industry (metal and wood processing, plastic, garment and printing) has been carried out. The modified Diekemper & Spartz (D&S) method has been used. The D&S method addresses 30 activities, divided into five activity areas: organization and administration; industrial hazard control; fire control and industrial hygiene; supervisory participation, motivation and training; accident investigation, statistics and reporting procedures. The maximum score was gained in the plastics industry: 62.9% and the minimum score in a printing industry: 40.9%. Economically developed enterprises have possibilities to pay also more attention to safety matters. The cost-effectiveness of the planned safety measures is calculated. The method considers the cost, the effectiveness and the uncertainty of the safety measure (Roed method). These three variables integrate the cost-effectiveness of a safety measure. The most cost-effective measures by investigated industries were: provide the workers with protective footwear in metal industry; the analysis of the spectrum of noise in printing industry; analysis of chemicals in the workrooms’ air (risk analysis of chemicals) in plastic industry; the analysis of chemicals and medical examinations of workers in wood processing industry; advanced training of workers to prevent the injuries with fingers in garment industry. The safety policy and safety plan that set the framework for health and safety activities in enterprises are usually not available in written form in Estonian firms. In addition, there is a need for raising the awareness of workers in the field of occupational health and safety. Supervisory participation, motivation and training were the activities that received quite low scores. The recommendations to the employers were given: to improve the information of workers, motivation to use the personal protective equipment and to carry out continuing training of workers as well as the leaders in work safety and health.


Keywords


safety management, OHSAS 18001, improvement of safety level, cost-effectiveness of safety measures.

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Print ISSN: 1392-2785
Online ISSN: 2029-5839