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SBE 2020: Submission Detail

ID Number: 84
Title: Workforce Protection in Small Businesses
Lead Author: Cunningham, Thomas R.
Abstract: The human and financial costs of work-related illnesses and injuries are a significant and persistent burden to society. The social, behavioral and economic (SBE) sciences have played a role in reducing those costs over the years by developing management practices, workers compensation insurance systems, and government policies that seek to eliminate dangerous workplaces. Unfortunately, those systems emphasize use of technologies and practices to protect workers that are often beyond the resources of small businesses. We propose a multi-level, cross-disciplinary vision of research that places SBE at the center of workplace safety and health efforts. Research is needed at the social systems level to understand the social networks of small businesses and how those systems can be coordinated to better-deliver safety and health assistance. That effort must be coordinated with research and development on new regulatory and insurance systems that better fit the limited capacities of small enterprises. To succeed, this vision for research must include investigation of the managerial mind and its influence on protective practices in the workplace. We must also understand how family, female, and minority ownership affects prevention practices. There is some existing capacity to execute this vision, but leadership from the SBE research community is vital.
PDF: Cunningham_Thomas_84.pdf

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