Occupational Health Support

Executive Summary

Occupational Health Support ( OHS ) had grown over the old ages, to include so many activities. Its importance in work topographic points, is attributable to the losingss experienced in concerns and states GDP as a consequence of occupational wellness issues. Surveies have shown that Small and Medium Sized Enterprises are major subscribers to the GDP of any state, UK inclusive and hence calls for a demand to supply OHS as recommended by the Legislation ( HASAW 1974 ) and Health and Safety Executive ‘s theoretical account.

The study covers the research design which will be applied, to analyze the degree at which Occupational Health Support is provided within selected SMEs. The survey will be conducted through an Ethno-methodological qualitative attack by an synergistic and micro-ethnography ( triangulation ) methods utilizing qualitative interview, observation, focal point group and study are the informations aggregation instruments. Collected informations would be analysed and consequence interpreted with the purpose of replying the research inquiry and do recommendations towards the betterment of OHS degrees in SMEs

Section 1: Introduction

Small and Medium Sized Enterprises ( SMEs ) are of import participants in the economic system of many states ( MacEachen et al 2008, USE 2009 ) and actively involved in employment ( 56.8 % of entire employment in UK ( Occupational Health Advisory Committee ( OHAC ) , 2007 ) . However, 82 % of reported occupational hurts emanate from SMEs, and in some instances rises to 90 % for fatal accidents ( OHAC, 2007 ) . This points to the occupational wellness and safety challenges and the degree of occupational wellness support within SMEs.

Occupational Health ( OH ) is a term that conveys different significances and includes several activities. Irrespective of the significance, it is by and large concerned with work consequence on wellness, fittingness for work and publicity of good wellness at workplace ( Karen,1993 ) . Harmonizing to OHAC 2007, the tendency of occupational wellness support peculiarly in the private sector, is altering from the traditional medical based services led by physicians and nurses, to multidisciplinary squads such as occupational hygienists, ergonomists.


The aims of this study are:

To understand the use of research methodological analysis ( Qualitative, Quantitative and Mixed attack and design ) on a research subject, carry out a literature reappraisal on the selected subject, and bring forth a research inquiry ( hypothesis ) .

To analyze the types of occupational wellness support utilised, the interaction degree and efficiency within SMEs.

To render recommendations from survey towards betterment of occupational wellness support.

1.2 Study ‘s Context

A Long- Term Occupational Health Strategy launched by Health and Safety Commission and the Health and Safety Executive ( HSC/E ) in July 2000, aimed at 20 % decrease in the incidence of work-related sick wellness and ill wellness to members of the populace caused by work activity ( Health and Safety Executive ( HSE ) RR 410, 2010 ) .

A Strategy for Workplace Health and Safety to 2010 and beyond was launched in February 2004, by Health and Safety Commission and the Health and Safety Executive ( HSC/E ) to turn to occupational wellness and safety with strategic partnership and attacks. Aim was to make the 20 % decrease in the incidence of work-related sick wellness and ill wellness to members of the populace caused by work activity mark, of the long term occupational wellness scheme launched in July 2000. Strategy mark was SMEs because research showed that merely approximately 3 % of people working in SMEs have entree to comprehensive occupational wellness support.

Several schemes and intercessions had targeted peculiarly SMEs in betterment of occupational wellness support and occupational wellness and safety. Therefore, there is a demand to seek out how SMEs had integrated these intercessions into their Occupational Health Support.

The research is to analyze how the occupational wellness support are provided in SMEs, in line with the aims of the research.

1.3 Scope of Report

Section 2 of the study covers a reappraisal on occupational wellness support and its assorted signifiers, the legislative commissariats, its demand, signifiers and interaction degree within SMEs.

Section 3 describes the methodological analysis, research design and methods, informations aggregation instruments and processs, informations analysis instruments. Restrictions and ethical issues involved in research attack.


2.1 Health and Safety Management

Harmonizing to Health and Safety Executive ( 2008 ) , Health and Safety is the protection of workers from injury or ill wellness by appropriate safeguard and proviso of satisfactory work environment. Health and safety direction of any concern is an of import facet of the concern hazard direction, since the safety and wellness of the workers is necessary for concern activities.

2.2 Occupational Health

Occupational wellness is a term that covers assorted activities, it is by and large regarded as bar and intervention of illness ensuing from work. Harmonizing to T. C. Aw et Al ( 2007 ) , occupational wellness is a many-sided and multidisciplinary activity concerned with the bar of sick wellness in employed population. However, OHAC 2007 study, recommended that occupational wellness embracing consequence of work on wellness, consequence of wellness on work, rehabilitation and recovery programmes, aid to the disabled in procuring and keeping of work and illness direction ensuing from work and workers assistant in lifestyle determination devising.

Occupational Health is of import to concerns and states, this is because concern end product is tied to the wellness and productiveness of the workers. However the gettable within any concern is attributed to employers ‘ and employees ‘ attitude and consciousness of occupational wellness issues ( Bunt, 1993 ) .

2.3 Occupational Health Support

Occupational Health support refers to procedures or agencies through which positive results ( improved productiveness ) are obtained from workers and concerns. Occupational wellness ( OH ) support was defined loosely by Pilkington et Al ( 2002 ) as jeopardy designation, hazard direction, and proviso of information, and profoundly as a procedure consisting the above three parametric quantities including work alteration activities, occupational health-related issues preparations, workplace jeopardies measuring and wellness monitoring tendencies. Health and Safety At Work Act 1974 A and the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 makes it the employers ‘ duty to supply occupational wellness support and advance safety at the work place.A

In HSE RR 410 ( 2010 ) , International Labour made recommendations that Occupational Health Support entails Surveillance of the working environment and worker ‘s wellness, Information, instruction, preparation and advice, First assistance intervention and wellness programmes and work and wellness status betterment steps. However Pilkington et Al ( 2002 ) , acknowledged that hazard designation was the most likely practiced signifier of OH support, followed by hazard direction, irrespective of company size, sector and part.

Harmonizing to Smith ( 2004 ) stated in her study “ Occupational Health and Safety Support Provision that in Securing Health Together ( SH2 ) 2000 publication ” , it was concluded in support programme Action Group that OH & A ; S support go beyond the traditional method of medical advice and intercession and integrate full scope of advice to employers and workers ( see appendix 1 ) .

2.4 Small and Medium Sized Enterprise

Small Sized Enterprise has been defined by EU, DfEE and HSE as a concern with little 50 or less employees and Medium sized as concern with 50-250 employees ( OHAC, 2007 ) . SMEs are over 19 million in European Union using about 70 % of Europe ‘s working population ( HSE, 2005 ) , lending tremendously to UK ‘ economic system. SMEs histories for 99 % of private sector concerns, 53.8 % of industry turnover, 45 % of non public sector and a sum of 56.8 % of entire employment ( OHAC, 2007 ) .

2.5 Occupational Health Support in SMEs

A major issue in the work force of any society is work related unwellness. UK in 2002/03 recorded 2.2 million people were enduring from an unwellness caused or made worse by work and 82 % of reported occupational hurts occurred in SMEs, with 90 % rise for fatal instances ( HSE, 2005 ) . However, as stated in recommendations on bettering entree to occupational wellness support by OHAC ( 2007 ) , the hurts incidence degree could be linked to the wellness and safety direction system in SMEs as revealed by a recent literature by HSE.

A study conducted on the usage of occupational wellness support by Pilkington et Al ( 2002 ) , revealed that most companies within SMEs provide OH support through was provided by employees with wellness or safety based preparation, over a 3rd provide OH support by external bureaus and the type of OH support was normally determined by the Board of Management or the proprietor while in larger companies, the Occupational wellness or Human resources section make parts on type and supplier of OH support.

Lansdown et Al ( 2007 ) stated that occupational wellness and safety issues in SMEs occur in the hazard appraisal context. OHAC study in 2007 supported Lansdown et Al where it was stated that SMEs employers and Managers fulfils several functions, including forte functions, thereby wellness and safety resources are concentrated on accident bar instead than illness that develops over a long period.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development ( Cipd ) 2010, occupational wellness support are provided through an occupational service supplier as and when needed. Depending on the size and concern activity, a full clip occupational nurse supported by a portion clip physician is employed as an occupational wellness support.

Smith ( 2004 ) , remarked that SMEs are loath to reach HSE and are incognizant of the commissariats available and the capacity to use NHS specialist occupational wellness resources including NHS Plus is limited. As a consequence, SMEs is dawdling behind in OH & A ; S support, therefore most needed. Interventions and bringing theoretical accounts on OH support all advocators for committedness and alteration on the OH support available in SMEs in order to better occupational wellness and concern productivenesss.




Research is a procedure of information assemblage, to reply a inquiry that solves a job ( Wayne et al, 2008 ) . McNabb ( 2004 ) , defined research as a agency of informations assemblage, processing and reading intelligently and cogently communicating of the consequence in a study that best describes what was discovered. Harmonizing to Naoum ( 1998 ) , research can be divided into three ( 3 ) major stages viz. ; Topic choice and Literature reappraisal, Research design definition ( research methodology/approach and methods ) , Data aggregation, Analysis and Report composing. However, Gary & A ; Kotler ( 2008 ) , research involves four stages which are ; research job and nonsubjective definition, research program development, research program implementation consequence or findings reading and coverage.

Different attacks exist to which a research can be conducted, the pick of attack is influenced by several factors such ; as theory, values, epistemology, ontology and practical considerations ( Bryman and Bell, 2007 ) . Irrespective of pick, restrictions exist within available research attacks, this presents a demand for restrictions decrease means to barest minimum or overcome restrictions where possible.

3.2 Research Definition

Reappraisal of literature shows that occupational wellness support through the traditional accent is outdated and is the normally utilized procedure by SMEs. Literature reappraisal besides showed that intercessions and theoretical accounts for a better OH proviso procedure with focal point on SMEs. Research is to analyze the alterations in OH support interaction degree, which are end point of the proviso theoretical accounts and intercessions within wellness and safety direction of SMEs.

From the assorted research attacks, the most suited attack would be utilise to guarantee dependability, cogency and credibleness of the research.

3.3 Research Question

The Study is to ask into SMEs OH support degree, end point from the executions of the current intercessions and do recommendations from the consequence obtained from the survey

The general inquiry of the survey is ; What are the occupational wellness support intercessions within SMEs direction system?

The specific inquiry to be answered is ; how is occupational wellness support made available, within wellness and safety direction of SMEs?

3.4 Research Design

Research design comprises of the methodology/ attack and methods through which the information will be captured and analysed. Marion ( 2004 ) classified research designs into classs based on the research inquiry, these are: descriptive, differences, and relationship, while Silverman ( 2006 ) , stated that several methodological analysiss exist in societal research and possibly loosely defined as qualitative or quantitative or narrowly defined as grounded theory or colloquial analysis. However Colin ( 2002 ) , stated that of the attacks to research in societal universe, qualitative and quantitative attacks are more influential.

What is Qualitative and Quantitative Research Strategy?

Proter ( 1993 ) as cited by Silverman ( 2006 ) , defined qualitative research scheme as an attack, that calculates the relationship between two or more variables. Sackman ( 1992 ) statement as cited by Bryman and Bell ( 2007 ) , was that an inductive ( qualitative ) research attack, is suited for an probe centred on the formation and being of organizational subcultures, to enable coevals of theories. However, Silverman ( 1993 ) , argued that qualitative researches, are besides involved in proving ( infering ) theories.

Bryman and Bell ( 2007 ) , gave insight to both schemes as defined below ;

Qualitative Research scheme can be defined as an attack with accent on words instead than Numberss in informations aggregation and analysis, towards theory initiation.

Quantitative Research scheme can besides be defined as a research attack with a quantifiable ( Numberss ) accent instead than words in informations aggregation and analysis, towards theory tax write-off by the testing of theories.

Survey can be categorised as a descriptive survey, as presented by the research inquiry. An ethno-methodological qualitative attack will be utilised to transport out survey ( fig. 1 below ) , which will seeks to understand the order / degree of OH support proviso and the attendant effects on employees and the concern through interactivism and micro-ethnography ( Bryman and Bell, 2007 ) .

Research inquiry

Ethno- methodological attack

Stratified Sampling

Interactivism & A ; Micro- descriptive anthropology

Survey, qualitative interview, focal point group

Data Analysis ( Grounded theory )


Figure 1 Research Procedures

Research Methods

An synergistic procedure that would let a function or combination of methods ( triangulation ) will be utilised to let in informations aggregation ( Silverman, 2006 ) . This is in effort to call off the restrictions inherent in a method by utilizing another method to guarantee cogency, dependability and credibleness of informations.


A Stratified sampling method will be utilised to obtain a theoretical contemplation on informations aggregation. This method is considered in order to guarantee dependability and credibleness of survey. A little sample ( 2 ) cutting through each organizational degrees within 5 SMEs ( 2 from primary concern category, 2 from the secondary and 1 the third concern categories ) in Trefforest.

Table 1: Stratified Sample

Occupational Level

Sample size

Entire Number

Top Management



Mid degree Management






Data aggregation

Data would be collected utilizing the undermentioned instruments ;

Qualitative interview


Focus group

Survey ( Open ended questionnaire )

Qualitative interview: This is an interview attack that allows flexibleness in an interview session. Interview will be conducted utilizing an interview usher but will present inquiries in response to important answers from interviewed. Answers will be recorded, to avoid misunderstanding of what was said. This procedure advantages are ;

Interviewees ‘ concerns are expressed instead than research workers concerns.

Insight into interviewees ‘ feelings and sentiments on research subject.

It is flexible and responds to interviewee ‘s way.

Detailed replies are gettable.

There is room for repetition interview.

Observation: In the procedure of micro-ethnography, the function of an Observer-as- participant. In this function, research worker is chiefly an interviewer but with captive observation and small engagement ( Bryman and Bell, 2007 ) . This will method will be utilised on every brush and along other procedures ( concentrate group and interview ) , taking note of organic structure linguistic communications and tone of duologue and deliberations.

Focus Group: This is a signifier of focussed group interview with accent on interaction centred on the research inquiry. Each group will dwell of a maximal figure of 8 people, from same sample group with an established apprehension on the research subject. The session will be tape recorded and transcribed.

This method was decided upon to give the followers ;

Researcher understanding to why people feel the manner they do about the research subject.

It allows participants conveying issues that they deem of import an vitamin D important to the research subject.

Argument which give room to more realistic history of peoples ‘ idea.

Survey: This is a tool in cross- sectional research technique to which qualitative informations will be collected through questionnaire or structured interview. Survey will be carried utilizing an unfastened ended inquiries run intoing empirical standard, will be administered on the sample groups ( table 1 and appendix 2 for informations aggregation inquiries ) .

Open ended inquiries have several disadvantages but will be adopted because of the undermentioned advantages ;

Respondents are non forced to give replies in a peculiar term, replies are obtained in respondents term.

Unusual responses non contemplated are possible.

Certain replies are non suggested through inquiries.

Answers give rise to geographic expedition of new countries.

Datas Analysis

Data will be analysed with iterative attack of grounded theory scheme. Theoretical sampling, coding, theoretical impregnation and changeless comparing will be used as tools to obtain a formal theory from survey.

Computer assisted qualitative informations analysis package such as Concept mapping package, Microsoft word and NVivo would be utilised to heighten analysis.


The research is important in uncovering the alterations that are attendant of the application of intercessions and theoretical accounts designed by HSE and OHAC.

The research design and methods are important in leting cogency, dependability and credibleness through mistake decrease.

Restrictions and Boundary lines

Time: The chief restriction to the survey is clip, which will be involved in the survey. Hence the sample size considered ( see table 1 ) , since qualitative informations analysis is clip devouring.

Cost: Cost of research is besides a confining factor, this will be considered and SMEs within research worker ‘s vicinity will be used.

Organizational Entree: Organizational entree is considered a confining factor, since most administrations may non let easy entree, so as non to uncover oversights in the administrations. A backup missive for consent will be taken to the administrations to seek consent.

Experience: The research worker being a pupil and new to standard research processes, will move as a restriction. To cut down this consequence, a professional position ( senior co-workers and research supervisor ) and supervising will be sought and followed through the research procedure.

Knowledge about the locality.

Ethical Issues

Informed consent: Informed consents will be sort after before the beginning of informations aggregation in administrations, in order to advance the administrations engagement and support through the informations aggregation processes.

Honesty and trust: Communication would take topographic point in a manner that would promote the constitution of honestness and trust amongst participants.

Confidentiality and namelessness: This will be considered and put to rehearse in order to avoid injury to participants by excepting participant names and administrations ‘ names.

Conflict of involvement

Section 4: Decision

This research is designed to uncover the present degree and agencies of supplying Occupational Health Support in Small and Medium Enterprises. The consequence from the survey after executing is to supply recommendation towards the betterment and interaction between occupational wellness support and the direction within Small and Medium Enterprises. Study will supply an penetration into the jobs and benefits associated with the proviso degrees within SMEs.

The ethno-methodological qualitative attack using synergistic and micro- descriptive anthropology function in the informations aggregation procedure. The information aggregation procedures will uncover the in-depth sentiments, positions of the respondents, taking into considerations the tone and grounds why people hold the positions they hold into. The likely goon that research attack will give rise to issues outside research worker cognition might originate. This will steer towards doing recommendations on Occupational Health Support in Small and Medium Sized Enterprises.