Organizational characteristics of small metal-fabricating businesses in Minnesota

Yogindra Samant, David Parker, Lisa Brosseau, Wei Pan, Min Xi, Dave Haugan, Quintin Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Small U.S. businesses are underserved in terms of occupational health and safety (OHS) services. Little is known about organizational factors influencing OHS in these establishments. Machine guarding was quantitatively evaluated in 40 small businesses. Checklists were used to develop safety scores. Organizational information such as number of employees, unionization, and number of machines was obtained. Experience modification rates, annual sales, and credit ratings were also obtained. Safety scores were divided into terciles. Businesses with safety scores in the top third were unionized, had effective safety committees, and had been operational for more than 30 years. Interventions and policies targeted toward development and implementation of safety committees are needed to improve OHS in this cohort. Financial capability had no bearing on ability of a small business to mount an OHS programs. Non-unionized small businesses may be more vulnerable to occupational injuries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)160-166
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2007


  • Machine guarding
  • Occupational health
  • Organizational characteristics
  • Small business


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