Development of a guide of good practice for the improvement of safety and health (risk evaluation) in small enterprises

Project No. BIA 0051


completed 02/1997


The implementation of Directive 89/391 EEC on the "Introduction of measures to encourage improvements in the safety and health of workers at work" is particularly difficult for small enterprises. The employer is held to conduct a complete risk evaluation for his company and to determine which measures should be taken to reduce hazards efficiently. To support small entrepreneurs in this task, a concept of a guide to "Improved safety and health in small companies" was developed. The concept is presently applied to three or four selected industrial branches.


Guides are presented in the form of branch-related model evaluations, based on ten risk factors identified by an expert task force (BG/BAU) "Risk evaluation". Immediate reference is made to the employer's economic interest in occupational health and safety. His attention is drawn to risk priorities and potential improvements. The guides focus especially on fields where prevention can be highly efficient, as for instance in work organisation and ergonomics. Several German Berufsgenossenschaften (accident insurance institutions) from different industrial branches (mechanical engineering, metal working, foodstuff and catering, construction, administration) contribute to the elaboration of the guides. The latter are tested in a number of enterprises to ensure acceptance in the field.


A concept of a tool for risk evaluation by the employer was developed and applied to three examples (roofer, office workplace, restaurant). This safety-check is based on branch- related model risk evaluations including recommendations for preventive action. Adapted to the different legal and structural conditions, the safety-check can be used in all European countries. The Luxembourg Chamber of Crafts realised a field test in small enterprises in different German- speaking regions of the European Union. The safety-checks were thus found to be of high technical quality, useful to the practitioner and well accepted by the employers. In addition, a so-called "compiler's guide" was developed which serves the experts to elaborate further safety-checks. In the meantime nore than 80 other safety checks for different industries have been prepared by occupational safety and health institutions from seven European countries.

Further informations:

Last Update:

2 Apr 2002


Financed by:
  • Europäische Union - Generaldirektion V
Research institution(s):
  • Berufsgenossenschaftliches Institut für Arbeitssicherheit - BIA
  • Verwaltungs-Berufsgenossenschaft
  • Würtembergische Bau- Berufsgenossenschaft
  • Berufsgenossenschaft Nahrungsmittel und Gaststätten

-cross sectoral-

Type of hazard:

Arbeitsorganisation/-schutzmanagement, Gestaltung von Arbeit und Technik


Arbeitsumwelt (Belastungen, Gefährdungen, Expositionen, Risiken), Gefährdungsbeurteilung, Klein- und Mittelbetriebe

Description, key words:

concept, tool, small and medium-sized enterprises, safety check, roofer, office-workplace, restaurant