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A Systematic Review of the Effectiveness of Training and Education for the Protection of Workers


January 2010
DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 2010-127
cover of 2010-127

Occupational health and safety (OHS) training is an important part of managing workplace hazards and risks. Such training may involve instruction on identifying occupational risks and how to control them, learning about safe workplace practices and how to properly use personal protective equipment.

Businesses want to know whether training can meet the goals of decreasing workplace injuries and illness, and whether the cost of training programs can be justified.

This systematic review was conducted to determine whether OHS training and education programs have a beneficial effect on workers and firms.

The review showed that:

  • Workplace education and training programs have a positive impact on OHS practices of workers. However, there is not enough high quality evidence to show whether OHS training on its own has an impact on health (for example, by reducing injuries or symptoms).
  • There is currently insufficient evidence to determine whether a single session of high engagement training has a greater impact compared to a single session of low/medium engagement training.