Institutional measures and desired supports regarding COVID-19 pandemic among small and medium-sized enterprises: An interview study in Japan

  • Imai Teppei
    The Working Group for Safety and Health among Small and Medium Enterprises OH Support Company
  • Moriguchi Jiro
    The Working Group for Safety and Health among Small and Medium Enterprises Kyoto Industrial Health Association
  • Abe Hitomi
    The Working Group for Safety and Health among Small and Medium Enterprises Tokai University
  • Maeda Kisaki
    The Working Group for Safety and Health among Small and Medium Enterprises University of Occupational and Environmental Health, Japan
  • Sukegawa Mayumi
    The Working Group for Safety and Health among Small and Medium Enterprises Tokai University
  • Shibata Eiji
    The Working Group for Safety and Health among Small and Medium Enterprises Yokkaichi Nursing and Medical Care University
  • Nishikido Noriko
    The Working Group for Safety and Health among Small and Medium Enterprises Tokai University

Bibliographic Information

Other Title
  • 中小企業における新型コロナウイルス対策への取り組みと望まれる支援
  • 中小企業における新型コロナウイルス対策への取り組みと望まれる支援 : 企業経営者・担当者へのインタビュー調査結果から
  • チュウショウ キギョウ ニ オケル シンガタ コロナウイルス タイサク エ ノ トリクミ ト ノゾマレル シエン : キギョウ ケイエイシャ ・ タントウシャ エ ノ インタビュー チョウサ ケッカ カラ
  • ―企業経営者・担当者へのインタビュー調査結果から―

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Abstract

<p>Objectives: Owing to the spread of COVID-19, many companies are likely to experience a significant impact on not only the safety and health of employees, but also on their businesses. The impact may be more severe for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) than large enterprises, given their limited management resources. This study aims to clarify the good practices of institutional measures, the challenges in implementing these measures, and the required supports among SMEs. Methods: The authors conducted an interview survey in August–October 2020 covering 27 SMEs in Japan regarding the infection control measures implemented and the desired supports in the future. Based on the content analysis, four researchers, comprising two occupational physicians and occupational health nurses each, extracted small categories by focusing on the commonality of codes, and gradually increased the degree of abstraction, subsequently extracting large categories. Results: The study consolidated the implemented institutional measures into four categories: “making immediate decisions,” “obtaining accurate information and sharing it with all employees,” “strengthening infection control measures,” and “ launching efforts to continue business.” In addition, challenges in implementing institutional measures were classified into five categories: “information gathering,” “counter measures against unknown virus,” “poor accessibility to Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test,” “consensus building,” and “balancing business continuity and infection control.” Furthermore, desired support in the future was classified into three categories: “information gathering,” “accessibility to PCR test,” and “compensation and subsidy.” Conclusions: With taking the advantage of the characteristics of SMEs, not a few companies implemented the four categories of institutional measures. Therefore, it is imperative for SMEs to provide accurate information to employers for appropriately recognizing the risks. Accordingly, it is desirable for occupational health professionals at SMEs to provide support to employers to help them identify appropriate information.</p>

Journal

  • SANGYO EISEIGAKU ZASSHI

    SANGYO EISEIGAKU ZASSHI 64 (3), 137-145, 2022-05-20

    Japan Society for Occupational Health

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