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Fostering intervention effectiveness research through a NORA - NSC partnership.

Thomas J; Sinclair R; Goldenhar L; Lin ML
Working Partnerships: Applying Research to Practice, NORA Symposium 2003, June 23-24, 2003, Arlington, Virginia. Washington, DC: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 2003 Jun; :68
One key to improving the health and safety of the workforce is discerning which interventions are most effective. Yet employers often measure the effectiveness of workplace interventions poorly or not at all. Interventions are selected and implemented with a singular expectation that they will either reduce morbidity and/or mortality (and thus be adopted) or not (and thus be summarily discontinued). Other outcomes are rarely considered. Factors such as the trial period for the intervention, the size of the trial sample, competing explanations of outcomes, and unintended consequences are either neglected or ignored. In addition, the resources that employers allocate for intervention effectiveness research are often very limited. Both the NORA Intervention Effectiveness Research team and the National Safety Council's Research and Statistical Services Group have been striving to encourage the evaluation of workplace safety and health interventions. The NORA team has published a manual and an article on intervention effectiveness research. It has conducted workshops and seminars on research methods. The NSC Research Group has encouraged such research through competitions and publications that seek to highlight case studies in which safety interventions were systematically evaluated. In recognition of the need to better equip the employers in conducting intervention evaluation and to encourage this practice, the NORA team and the NSC created a partnership and developed a one-day professional development seminar for employers. Based on the NORA team's guide, this seminar was designed to teach practical research skills for intervention evaluation. A pilot presentation of the course was conducted at the NSC's annual meeting in October 2002. Forty safety professionals attended the full-day workshop. An evaluation of the workshop was conducted, featuring a pretest, a post-test, and a four-month follow-up questionnaire. The results of that evaluation show a positive influence of the workshop on participant knowledge of, and attitudes toward, intervention effectiveness research. The NORA-NSC partnership will continue as it explores ways to conduct a more extensive and rigorous trial of the one-day workshop. After revisions based on the pilot, the partners hope to test its effectiveness at building evaluation research capacity among NSC members throughout the country. The partnership will also explore other means to encourage this important component of a complete safety and health program. This presentation will detail the results of the workshop evaluation and the plans for the future of this productive partnership.
Health-standards; Workplace-monitoring; Workplace-studies; Safety-monitoring; Safety-research; Workshops
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NORA Implementation
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Working Partnerships: Applying Research to Practice, NORA Symposium 2003, June 23-24, 2003, Arlington, Virginia
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division