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Health and safety programs and regulations

In brief

  • Occupational health and safety interventions, including regulatory approaches, programs, and management systems, are key strategies for reducing worker injury and illness.
  • Examples include inspections, citations and penalties; the requirement for firms to have joint labour and management health and safety committees and/or to conduct routine hazard assessment; and the implementation of integrated health and safety management systems.
  • We conducted independent impact evaluations of the Certificate of Recognition (COR) audit programs in both BC and Alberta to assess how participation has affected firms’ claim rates and health and safety experience. COR programs provide premium rebates to employers who meet certain occupational health and safety management benchmarks or who have implemented a return to work program for injured workers. Results of these studies
  • We surveyed long-term care homes and food processing firms about their health and safety practices, with the goal of establishing a set of leading health and safety indicators that organizations can use to assess and improve their health and safety performance. More information

Next steps

  • PhD trainee Kim McLeod’s PhD dissertation will examine the effectiveness of WorkSafeBC prevention activities, including punitive measures such as inspections and orders and more cooperative measures such as education and consultations.
  • In an extension of Kim McLeod’s work in BC, we are investigating the effectiveness of inspections, citations, orders and penalties on firm-level injury rates in Alberta.
  • MSc trainee Minal Pachchigar is performing an assessment of the WorkSafeBC Inspection Experience and Impact Survey, in order to determine the predictors of officer performance in an inspection and to characterize a model for change that follows an inspection enforcement activity.

Related publications

An audit-based occupational health and safety recognition program: Does certification lead to lower firm work-injury rates?

Research brief
Based on research presented in McLeod C, Quirke W, McLeod K, Aderounmu A. Evaluating the effect of an audit-based occupational health and safety recognition program on firm work-injury rates in British Columbia, Canada, 2003-2016: a matched difference-in-difference approach. Final Report to WorkSafeBC. Vancouver: Partnership for Work, Health and Safety; 2018. [Full report available by request only.]

A systematic literature review of the effectiveness of occupational health and safety regulatory enforcement

Journal article
Tompa E, Kalcevich C, Foley M, McLeod C, Hogg-Johnson S, Cullen K, MacEachen E, Irvin E, Mahood Q.
American Journal of Industrial Medicine. 2016 Nov;59(11):919-933.

An audit-based occupational health and safety recognition program: Is certification associated with lower firm work-injury rates?

Research brief [299 KB]
Based on research presented in McLeod C, Quirke W, Koehoorn M. Evaluation of the effect of an audit-based occupational health and safety recognition program on firm work-injury rates in British Columbia, Canada. Final Report to WorkSafeBC. Vancouver: Partnership for Work, Health and Safety; 2015. [Full report available by request only.]

Safety in our DNA: How Organizational Culture is Harnessed to Create Safer Work Environments

Conference presentation [1.5MB]
Lyle J, McLeod C. BC Care Providers Association Annual Conference. Whistler, BC: May 25, 2015.

Evaluation of an audit‐based occupational health and safety certification program on firm work‐injury rates in British Columbia, Canada

Conference presentation
McLeod C, Quirke W. Canadian Association for Research on Work and Health (CARWH) conference. Saskatoon, SK: Oct. 19-22, 2014.

The injury prevention effects of workplace safety inspections

Research poster
McLeod K, Koehoorn M, Amick B, Davies H, McLeod C. Canadian Association for Research on Work and Health (CARWH) conference. Saskatoon, SK: Oct. 19-22, 2014.

Evaluating OHS prevention programs: An example of a voluntary audit-based prevention program in British Columbia

Conference presentation
McLeod C.
Occupational and Environmental Health Rounds, University of Toronto. Toronto, ON: Oct 2, 2014.

Workplace safety inspections and injury prevention

Conference presentation [1 MB]
McLeod K, Davies H, Koehoorn M, Amick B, McLeod C. Epidemiology in Occupational Health (EPICOH) Conference. Chicago, IL: June 24-27, 2014.

Evaluation of an audit-based OH&S recognition program on firm work-injury rates

Conference presentation
McLeod C, Quirke W. Epidemiology in Occupational Health (EPICOH) Conference. Chicago, IL: June 24-27, 2014.

Exploring the effect of prevention activities on work-related injury in British Columbia

Conference presentation
McLeod K, McLeod C, Koehoorn M, Amick B. Annual Symposium on Environmental, Occupational, and Population Health. Semiahmoo, WA: Jan. 9, 2014.

Evaluating inspections: What are the injury prevention effects of WorkSafeBC prevention activities?

Conference presentation [558 KB]
McLeod K. WorkSafeBC Research Trainee Event. Richmond, BC; Sept. 27, 2013.

Changing the Present: Implementing and evaluating workplace interventions to improve occupational health and safety

Conference presentation [590KB]
Amick B, McLeod C. Association of Workers’ Compensation Boards of Canada Learning Symposium. Saint John, NB; Sept. 17, 2013.

Key Performance Indicators, Research Evidence and the Safety Charter Initiative

Conference presentation [477 KB]
McLeod C. BC Safety Charter Annual Roundtable Event. Vancouver, BC; Nov. 29, 2012.

Contact: Chris McLeod

a place of mind, The University of British Columbia

School of Population and Public Health
2206 East Mall,
Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z3, Canada
Tel: 604-822-2772
Partnership for Work, Health and Safety
2206 East Mall,
Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z3, Canada
Tel: 604-822-8544

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