The Importance of Small Business Safety and Health Climates During COVID-19

J Occup Environ Med. 2021 Feb 1;63(2):81-88. doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000002080.


Objective: This study examines employee perceptions of safety and health climates for well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic in a sample of small businesses.

Methods: We evaluated changes to employees' work and home life resulting from COVID-19 and perceptions of safety and health climates. Cross-sectional relationships were assessed using multivariable linear regression models for a sample of 491 employees from 30 small businesses in Colorado in May 2020.

Results: Employee perceptions of safety and health climates were significantly related to their self-reported well-being during the first wave of COVID-19, even when there were changes to childcare, the ability to work, and limited social contacts.

Conclusion: Safety and health climates may influence employee well-being even when other disruptions occur, suggesting that during emergencies, small businesses with strong climates may be better prepared to maintain employee well-being.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • COVID-19 / epidemiology*
  • COVID-19 / prevention & control*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Occupational Health*
  • Pandemics
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Safety Management
  • Small Business*
  • Workplace