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Self-assessment tool for SME - Evaluation of operational application

Project number: F 2481 Institution: Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (BAuA) Status: Ongoing Project Planned end: 2023-10-31


This project focuses on the effects of the application of the INQA company check "Guter Mittelstand" in companies. It is a self-assessment tool developed by INQA as part of the Offensive Mittelstand (OM), and it is a "low-threshold" tool, i.e. easily usable, particularly by SMEs.

In order to support the transfer of the check into operational practice, approximately 5,000 consultants have been trained for applying the check by the qualification structures of OM in recent years.

In this project, the hypothesized effects of the two application patterns of the company check will be contrasted, i.e. whether it was used with professional assistance or without professional assistance.

The question of which levels of effectiveness will be achieved with the check will also be analyzed as this has not yet been investigated in the INQA framework. The expected findings may be of particular interest to the GDA (Gemeinsame Deutsche Arbeitsschutzstrategie/ Joint German Occupational Safety and Health Strategy) and other OSH stakeholders that use low threshold self-assessment tools in other contexts.

The project design is a quasi-experimental study with a control group (check use without consulting support) and an experimental group (check use with consulting support).

The comparative comparison of the two applications of the INQA checks at the worksite will be carried out quantitatively (Subproject 1) and qualitatively (Subproject 2) using a mixed-methods approach. Subproject 1 involves an online survey covering 100 SMEs per type of application as described above with entrepreneurs or other company executives as target group. Subproject 2 involves five case studies per type of application using a two- step approach. As a first step, expert interviews will be conducted with the entrepreneur and other executives, followed by group interviews where the employees will also be involved. On the one hand, the aim is to describe successful procedures in terms of applying the check in the workplace. On the other hand, this project aims at gaining recommendations on improving the check (in terms of user-friendliness and application success).

Today as well as in the future BAuA will focus its efforts on the evaluation and further development of structures and strategies for occupational safety and health, e.g. by designing case studies which will continue to inform intervention research. Finally, recommendations for the further development of the INQA-Check will be derived and made available to the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS) and the “Offensive Mittelstand”.


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