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.
  • PhD trainee Kim McLeod’s PhD dissertation (2019) investigated whether regulatory inspections of workplace safety are associated with lower injury rates in BC firms. Her analysis of data from 2004 to 2014 found that inspections generally did not lead to a decrease in injury rates.
  • We assessed the WorkSafeBC Inspection Experience and Impact survey to identify the factors that determine hazard management changes in workplaces following inspections and understand how employer and worker representatives rated their inspection officer’s ability to explain (1) how hazards in the workplace were managed by the firm/employer, (2) what changes were needed by their firm/employer to be compliant with regulation, and (3) whether or not the inspection led to changes in how hazards were managed at their workplace. Overall, our findings highlight areas in which hazard management changes following workplace inspections may be modifiable – for example, targeting key sectors and focusing on improved communication between officers and workplace representatives.
  • 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

  • In an extension of Kim McLeod’s work in BC, we plan to plans to add new years of data to further evaluate regulatory safety inspections in BC
  • We are conducting two other provincial evaluations of the effectiveness of regulatory enforcement activities in Alberta and of different disability management practices in the health care sector in Manitoba.

Related publications

Is the Return to Work Certificate of Recognition Program associated with improved outcomes?

Research brief. Full report available by request. Based on research presented in:
McLeod CB, McLeod KV, Tamburic L, Maas ET. Is the Return to Work Certificate of Recognition Program associated with improved outcomes? Final Report to WorkSafeBC; 2020.

Performance of the COR® audit in BC construction firms: Do higher scores predict lower injury rates?

Research brief. Full reports available by request. Based on research presented in:

McLeod C, Saffari N, Cliff R, Jones A. Assessment of the British Columbia Construction Safety Alliance Certificate of Recognition audit score measurement properties. Final Report to WorkSafeBC and the British Columbia Construction Safety Alliance; 2020.

McLeod C, Yousefi M, Jones A. (2020). What occupational health and safety management system components predict firm injury rates in the British Columbia construction industry? Assessing the predictive validity of the British Columbia Construction Safety Alliance’s Certificate of Recognition Audit Tool. Final Report to the British Columbia Construction Safety Alliance. Vancouver: Partnership for Work, Health and Safety; 2020.

Understanding regulatory workplace safety inspections in British Columbia, Canada: Theory and evaluation

Thesis
McLeod K.
Vancouver: The University of British Columbia; 2019.

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

Research brief. Full report available by request.
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; 2019.

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

Research brief. Full report available by request.
Based on research presented in McLeod C, Macpherson R, Quirke W, Koehoorn M, Aderounmu A. Is COR associated with lower firm-level injury rates? An evaluation of the effect of an audit-based occupational health and safety recognition program on firm work-injury rates in Alberta, Canada. Final Report to Alberta Ministry of Labour. Vancouver: Partnership for Work, Health and Safety, University of BC.

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. Full report available by request.
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.

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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