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OSH program evaluation in manufacturing and small business.

LaMontagne AD; Barbeau E; Roelofs C; Youngstrom RA; McLellan D; Lewiton M; Stoddard AM; Wallace LM; Sorensen G
Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, R01-OH-004012, 2005 Feb; :1-16
Programmatic or systematic approaches to occupational safety and health (OSH) have long been acknowledged as essential to the prevention and control of occupational injury and illness. In the last two decades, OSH programs or management systems have emerged internationally as a major strategy for addressing workplace safety and health. OSH program regulations and voluntary guidelines have been developed or are under development in numerous countries, including the US. In this project, we developed methods for assessing the scope and quality of OSH programs, and assessed the effectiveness of interventions to improve OSH programs. Our OSH program measures were derived from OSHA's 1995 Program Evaluation Profile; the OSH program measures gauge the degree to which an organization systematically manages OSH, rather than the presence or absence of a program/management system. This assessment approach is broadly applicable, transparent, and simple to administer. Results from field application of this assessment instrument in two intervention trials indicate that it has reasonable discriminatory power and is well matched to the range of prevalent OSH programs in the American manufacturing sector, in both large (average 750 employees) and small/medium (average 96 employees) companies. Most manufacturing sites scored in the 60-80% range on a 100-point OSH program scale (suggesting acceptable quality programs), with roughly some sites scoring below 60% (suggesting poor programs). In the intervention study in large manufacturing sites, management-focused intervention led to consistently greater improvement in intervention versus control sites across all OSH program measures, with significantly greater improvements in a measure of 'management commitment and employee participation'. The intervention in small/medium sites was not associated with greater improvements in intervention versus control sites. With respect to implications for policy and practice, these findings suggest: (1) the observation of substantial room for improvement at most sites supports the need for intervention in the OSH program area; (2) The observed intervention-related improvement in 'management commitment and employee participation' suggests likely benefits from intervention in this area; (3) Further empirical research is needed to improve and validate OSH program assessment methods and to evaluate the relative effectiveness of various intervention approaches.
Small-businesses; Occupational-health-programs; Occupational-safety-programs; Statistical-analysis; Injury-prevention
Center for Community-Based Research, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 44 Binney St., Boston, MA, 02115-6084
Publication Date
Document Type
Final Grant Report
Funding Amount
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Fiscal Year
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NIOSH Division
Priority Area
Research Tools and Approaches: Intervention Effectiveness Research
Source Name
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Performing Organization
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts
Page last reviewed: September 2, 2020
Content source: National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Education and Information Division