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Facts and Figures

In this section data from different sources regarding MSEs is provided.

  • MSEs - Key economic agents

    There appear to be compelling reasons to ascribe a central importance to micro and small companies (MSEs) as economic agents in the EU.

    By numbers of enterprises, micro companies constituted more than nine of out ten companies (92.4%) in the non-financial business sector of EU28 in 2013, while small enterprises accounted for 6.4%.

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  • Fatal accidents within enterprise size classes

    Over the period 2008-2012 the largest share of fatal accidents occurred among workers in enterprises with up to 49 employees.

    Trends in fatalities in recent years also suggest that the effects of economic recession and recovery were felt across all size bands.

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  • Enterprises reporting use of OSH services

    Larger establishments, as expected, report using services more frequently than their smaller counterparts.

    The differences between establishment sizes is slightly wider when it comes to the use of specialist services, such as experts dealing with ergonomics and psychologists.

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  • Use of OSH information from various sources

    It is essential for establishments to have access to information, support and advice.

    Interestingly, almost half of the surveyed establishments in the EU-28 report turning to insurance providers (48 %) and the labour inspectorate (48 %) when they need this type of information.

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  • Formal employee representation in the establishments

    As shown in the figure, formal employee representation clearly increases with establishment size.

    As far as formal employee representation is concerned, a works council is present in 25% of establishments in the EU-28, whereas a trade union representative is reported by 15% of establishments.

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  • How often OSH is discussed between employee representatives and the management

    OSH issues are discussed ‘regularly’ between employee reps and the management in 56% of establishments in the EU-28 that have some form of employee representation.

    This proportion increases significantly by size. In contrast, a more ad hoc reaction is more frequently reported among the smallest establishments, as 41% of them report that such discussions take place ‘only when particular issues arise’, a proportion that decreases with establishment size.

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