Costs and benefits of the European Safety and Health Standards implementation in the SME sector (1999)

The research aims to explore, through a cost-benefit analysis, the effects and scenarios related to the implementation of the European legislation on workers’ health and safety in small and medium-sized enterprises. The quantitative analysis, as well as using a structured questionnaire administered to small and medium-sized entrepreneurs, was also carried out about the examination of the press review on occupational accidents in the last decade, using a selected sample of twenty newspapers to examine the messages reported in the press. Finally, the secondary qualitative phase of the study focused on exploring the “state of the art” on the application of the legislation, cross-referenced with an examination of the primary economic policy documents drawn up by the Government. As a result, it was possible to draw a comprehensive picture of the social and economic context in which the phenomenon of health and safety enforcement is inserted, with particular reference to the structure of work organisation in small and medium-sized enterprises.





The problem

Research methodology

Structure of the survey


Legislation: regulatory and applicative aspects related to the reality of Italian small and medium-sized enterprises

Legislation on safety in the workplace

Constitution: articles 32, 38 and 41

Civil Code: article 2087

Legislative decrees and other regulations

The need for a Consolidated Text

Legislative Decree 629/94

The question of training

Some of the open questions

Overall considerations and operational proposals


Security as a matter for trade union negotiations


Costs and benefits of applying Legislative Decree 626/94 from a trade union perspective

Undeclared work

The current contractual orientation of trade union organisations

Limits of trade union bargaining based on safety protection


Privileged witnesses

Historical evolution of the legislation


The entrepreneurial mentality

The infrastructural preparation of Italian small and medium-sized enterprises

Adaptation period


Undeclared work

The purpose of the law

The role of Italy

Overall remarks


The Press and Workplace Accidents in the 1990s

Analysis of the press review on work-related accidents

Moments of greatest interest and the newspapers most concerned with occupational accidents

Before and during the 626 era

An in-depth analysis of the safety problem


Analysis of structural variables

The reference sample

Adoption of ISO 9000 certification

Adaptation to Legislative Decree 626/94

Verification of accidents after the application of Legislative Decree 626/94


Entrepreneurs and bureaucracy

Comparing desks

Perception of the bureaucratic system


Entrepreneurs’ attitudes and opinions

But what does it cost me

I could but I don’t want to

Inadequate or inadequate?

Dura lex, sed lex


Cost-benefit analysis

An overview of cost-benefit analysis

Cost-benefit analysis and Law 626/94


Costs in general


Material costs

Consultancy costs

Organisation costs

Training costs

Information costs

Costs for assistance

Adaptation costs


Economic-productive benefits

Health benefits

Organisational benefits

Ecological-environmental benefits


Health benefits and costs

Economic-environmental benefits and costs

Economic benefits and costs

Organisational benefits and costs


The law’s symbols

Metaphorical analysis

The utilitarian car

The ambulance

The bicycle

The ship

The train

Fire engine


Police car

The bus

The wasted Ferrari

The Metaphor in figures




Annexe I

The questionnaire

File Indice

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