This report is written by the Institute for Work & Health on behalf of the current and past members of the Organizational Indices Committee of the Occupational Health and Safety Council of Ontario (OHSCO).
Can a simple tool be developed that will predict a firm’s workplace injury experience based on an assessment of its health and safety policies and practices? This was the question that a team of partners within Ontario’s occupational health and safety system set out to answer, and it looks like the answer is “yes.”
The team developed an eight-item questionnaire that was then administered to over 800 workplaces. One respondent in each workplace was asked to assess the degree to which their organization adhered to optimal occupational health and safety policies and practices. Respondents’ answers were scored and matched to their organization’s injury rates over the previous three-plus years.
Workplaces where respondents reported higher scores had lower injury claim rates.
Although more work needs to be done to determine the reliability and best use of this eight-item questionnaire, it is an important step in the development of a “leading indicator” measurement tool that could be of benefit to occupational health and safety stakeholders in Ontario and beyond.