Bikram Pandey

Doctor of Philosophy, (Occupational Health and safety)
Study Completed: 2013
Massey Business School


Thesis Title
Understanding Occupational Health and Safety Risks and Participatory Practices in Small Businesses: Qualitative case studies of three small cafe and restaurant businesses

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Small businesses (SB’s) are characterised by hazardous working environments and significant exposure to health and safety risks. The characteristic contexts of small businesses provide unique opportunities for common understanding of occupational health and safety risks and participation in identification and control of such hazards and risks. Mr Pandey’s research utilised the Local Theory of Work Environment to explore owner/managers’ and employees’ understanding of OHS risks and their participation in the identification and control of hazards and risks. The study found that the management of hazards in SBs is informal and reactive in nature and that legitimisation, or the employee’s to bring issues up for discussion, was important in the identification and control of hazards and risks. Legitimisation also dictated the typology of participation and thus the approaches to identification and control of hazards and risks. The findings suggest that expanding the sphere of legitimisation in a small business could lead to a more open participatory work environment, where potentially more effective and predictive approaches to the identification and control of hazards and risk could be employed.

Associate Professor Ian Laird
Professor Stephen Legg
Dr Kirsten Olsen