Ontario Leading Indicators Project (OLIP) survey and benchmarking reports

The aim of the Ontario Leading Indicators Project (OLIP) is to identify organizational and management measures that can be used by workplaces and system partners to improve health and safety performance before injuries and illnesses occur.

How is this leading indicators research being done?

IWH researchers developed a survey of potential leading indicators. The OLIP survey consists of several management and organizational tools that have been analyzed in other studies. Occupational health and safety (OHS) practitioners from Ontario’s sector-based health and safety associations (HSAs) and workplace parties provided input on the survey to ensure relevance in the Ontario setting. A web-based platform was designed to administer the survey. 

The research team randomly selected organizations from the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board (WSIB) workers’ compensation claims database. Over 5,000 firms in Ontario were selected to represent different regions and firm sizes.

HSA representatives approached organizations to invite them to participate. During Phase I (2011 to 2012), representatives from Workplace Safety & Prevention Services (WSPS), Public Services Health & Safety Association (PSHSA) and Workplace Safety North (WSN) recruited organizations. During Phase II, which is ongoing, the Infrastructure Health & Safety Association is helping recruit organizations.

Participants were asked to complete a 20-minute survey. The person most knowledgeable about health and safety in his or her organization was asked to complete the survey. In addition to answering the survey questions, participants were provided with a consent form that asks if researchers may link their survey data to their WSIB information, including claims data. All participants were informed of the study protocol to protect the confidentiality of participant information.  

The OLIP survey

The OLIP survey includes a series of measures concerning organizational and management policies and practices that impact health and safety. Each measure consists of several questions that call on respondents to describe their own workplace policies and practices. See the original Ontario Leading Indicators Project survey. (582 KB) 

What measures are in the survey?

The OLIP survey contains 17 measures within five tools. This description of OLIP survey measures (578 KB) provides more detail, including measure definitions, the questions for each measure and citations from previous studies.

Organizational Policies & Practices (OPP) tool (five measures)

  • Health & safety practices
  • Health & safety leadership
  • Ergonomics
  • Disability management/prevention
  • Employee engagement (people-oriented culture)

Learn more about the OPP questionnaire from this study on disability management practices in the Ontario health-care sector and this study on how workplace policies affect return to work.

Organizational Performance Metric (OPM) (one measure)

  • Key characteristics of organizational OHS performance.

Learn more about the OPM in this report on the OPM pilot in Ontario (952 KB), and about ongoing OPM research

Occupational Health & Safety Management System (OHSMS) tool (nine measures)

  • OHS policy
  • Worker participation
  • OHS training
  • Communication
  • Preventive & protective actions
  • Emergency response
  • Monitoring & review (internal control)
  • Benchmarking
  • Procurement & contracting

Safety Climate tool (one measure)

  • Shared employee perceptions about safety of work environment.

Joint Health & Safety Committee (JHSC) Index (one measure)

  • Functioning of JHSC or health & safety representative

The OLIP benchmarking reports

Each study participant receives a benchmarking report (639 KB) that shows an organization’s scores for OLIP survey measures, based on the respondent's answers to the survey questions.  Benchmarking reports for participants in Phase I (those who filled in the survey before August 28 2012) are being distributed in the summer of 2013. Participants who filled in the survey after August 2012 will receive reports in 2014.

About the survey scores

An organization's scores are averaged across questions in each of the survey measures.  The scores are shown against scores of  all participating organizations and where numbers permit, against scores of comparable organizations, e.g. in a sector or subsector. A colour-coding scheme is used to categorize an organization's performance and to help organizations better understand their results. 

This OLIP scoring reference (820 KB) provides detailed information on scoring and colour coding in the benchmarking reports.

The survey is now open to everyone

Approximately 2000 organizations in Ontario have participated in the project to date (i.e. as of the spring of 2014).

Most participants were part of the study; a random selection of firms from the WSIB database. These firms belong to many different industrial sectors. During Phase I they largely came from the education, municipal, health care, agriculture, manufacturing, service and pulp & paper sectors. Phase II participants were from the construction, transportation, and electrical & utilities sectors.

Now everyone has the opportunity to take the survey to help build the first benchmarking knowledge base in the history of occupational health and safety research in Ontario. Participants get their results directly after completing it.

Learn more about taking the survey and benchmarking your results or take the survey now and learn more later.

What is next for OLIP?

Survey data and WSIB information, including claims data, have been linked together for firms in the Phase I study. The historical workers’ compensation claims data will be analyzed to help determine which leading indicators are related to injury and illness claims. All data collected, including survey responses and company information, are kept strictly confidential.

The Ontario Leading Indicators Project (OLIP) is being conducted by the Institute for Work & Health in partnership with health and safety associations (HSAs) in Ontario. These include Workplace Safety & Prevention Services (WSPS), Workplace Safety North (WSN), Public Services Health & Safety Association (PSHSA) and Infrastructure Health & Safety Association (IHSA). Funding for Phase I of OLIP was provided by a grant from the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board's Research Advisory Council. Phase II funding was provided by the Province of Ontario.