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Title: Occupational safety and health implementation : between policy and practice in Lebanon
Author: Azzi, Manal Maroun
ISNI:       0000 0004 2684 1641
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 2009
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Introduction: The performance of work is supposed to be safe and healthy, where healthy work is not only the absence of injury and disease but also the physical and psychological well-being of workers. Although there are various Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) regulations issued worldwide, many work organizations do not implement them. This is of particular concern in countries where OSH issues may not be a priority, for example Lebanon. The objective of this study was to assess the factors influencing the implementation of health and safety measures in Lebanese work organisations. Ethical approval was obtained from the University of Surrey, UK. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted on the employers from 70 work organizations. These organizations were randomly selected from a list of 234 member industries of the Association of Lebanese Industrialists, covering the top five largest industrial sectors in Lebanon: minerals, metals, chemical products, paper and cardboard, and food products. A mixed methods approach was adopted to reveal the perception of employers regarding safety and health, what motivated employers to create an enabling safe and healthy environment and what factors impeded facilitation. Each employer was visited once and asked to complete an interview using a close-ended questionnaire. An in-depth qualitative interview was used to probe into the questionnaire responses for 32 employers (data saturation point). Each interview was recorded and transcribed. The analysis of the quantitative data from the questionnaire data was used to generate the main points of interest and the qualitative analysis of the in-depth interviews allowed the generation of new themes to explain the main points from the questionnaire. Results: Around 87 percent of managers interviewed in this study were not aware of the national OSH decree No. 11802 endorsed by the government in 2005 and 81 percent of the enterprises do not have a written occupational and health policy. While nearly 61 percent of the managers interviewed perceived occupational safety and health as a priority, nearly 50 percent of them admitted that they lack knowledge on safety health related measures. Around 70 percent of the employers suggested that the safety of employees means higher productivity and this is a driving motivation for them to implement safety measures. The results of the study also identified the major factors which impeded or encouraged employers to adopt safety and health measures, such as employer's perception of worker's capacity to implement safety and health measures and the cultural value given to prevention processes in Lebanon. Conclusion: Based on the findings, a strategy has been developed to inform concerned stakeholders in Lebanon, the Middle East and other countries with similar cultural aspects, on how to take into account these new factors when setting national and enterprise level policies and organisational OSH management systems. Future research needs to target workers' safety and health knowledge, attitude and practices to find consistencies and inconsistencies with management beliefs. Another area worth exploring further is the application of Vroom's expectancy model on the employers and workers as related to safety and health practices.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available