A review of compliance with health and safety and safety regulations and economic performance in small and medium construction enterprises

Conference paper


Arewa, A. O. and Farrell, P. 2012. A review of compliance with health and safety and safety regulations and economic performance in small and medium construction enterprises. ARCOM 2012: 28th Annual Association of Researchers in Construction Conference. Leeds, UK 03 - 05 Sep 2012 Association of Researchers in Construction Management.
AuthorsArewa, A. O. and Farrell, P.
TypeConference paper
Abstract

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) constitute over 90% of construction businesses and are vital to construction industry operation. Health and safety regulations in the UK compel all organisations, regardless of their nature or size to comply with health and safety rules. However, there is evidence that the risk of suffering an occupational accident in SMEs is higher compared to large enterprises. For every 100,000 workers in the European Union SME sector there are more than 4100 accidents involving over three days absence; while the same rate is 3088 in large firms. In terms of cost, SMEs spend more to remedy (considering costs of rectification work, fines, prosecutions and sentences) adverse health and safety incidents. Fundamentally, the high cost of human
capital and the destabilising effects of health and safety make the financial performance of SMEs exposed to greater uncertainties and risks. Indeed SME financial performance is often worse than for large firms. Various attempts by previous research work to substantiate the relationship between compliance with safety and financial performance of SMEs seems elusive. The research question is; does compliance with health and safety enhance SME financial performance? It is argued that SME commitment to health and safety spins off into many aspects of business performance and thus they simultaneously also benefit from better profitability. The paper is based on a literature review and an appraisal of HSE prosecutions in the period 2007 - 2011. It is a supplementary study and part of an ongoing PhD that seeks to appraise the effects of investment in health and safety in the UK construction industry.

KeywordsConstruction Industry; SMEs; Health and safety
Year2012
ConferenceARCOM 2012: 28th Annual Association of Researchers in Construction Conference
PublisherAssociation of Researchers in Construction Management
Publication dates
Print2012
Publication process dates
Deposited07 Nov 2023
Journal citationpp. 423-432
Book titleProceedings 28th Annual ARCOM Conference
Book editorSmith, S. D.
ISBN9780955239069
Web address (URL) of conference proceedingshttps://www.arcom.ac.uk/abstracts-results.php?s=28th%20Annual%20ARCOM%20Conference&b=b
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