Économie et Statistique n° 486-487Work and health
Changes in work organisation in enterprises: what effects on accidents at work?
This article examines the influence of the introduction of new forms of work organisation within enterprises, often inspired by the Toyota Production System (just-in-time production, autonomous work teams, etc.), on the risk of accidents at work. For this purpose, the article considers a fixed effects panel data census model for the years 2003 and 2006 in the French COI survey (Organisational changes and ICT use) dedicated to this subject, matched against administrative data on accidents at work. The use of such a model ensured the results were not skewed by unobserved, time-specific heterogeneity of enterprises. The article concludes that changes in organisational practices correlated with the risk of accidents at work, but this correlation was modest. Thus there was a connection between obtaining the ISO 9001 standard and a decrease in accidents at work, but only in enterprises with 200 employees or more. This result suggests that formalisation of the production process as encouraged by the standard improved the safety of the enterprise provided it was reviewed. However, large enterprises probably had more resources to undertake this review. In addition, in small enterprises, ISO 9001 certification is perhaps more often imposed by a client; therefore, these enterprises are more likely to consider the tools set out in the standard as mere formalities in order to obtain it, without seeking to gain from them. The article also concludes that the introduction of value analysis (which is a set of formalised methods for solving problems which may occur as part of the production process) was linked to a reduction in accidents at work. This result would tend to confirm that these methods are effective.