Developing a framework for understanding and measuring OHS vulnerability
Reasons for the study
In the area of occupational health and safety (OHS), vulnerability can be defined as an increased risk of experiencing a work-related injury or illness compared to a given standard. Often individuals in the labour market—e.g. young workers, new workers, immigrants or visible minorities—are labelled as vulnerable. Yet, this categorization does not identify the specific characteristics that place these workers at higher risk of experiencing a work-related injury. The purpose of this study is to build on a conceptual framework of OHS vulnerability by generating a set of domains, and pool of potential items within each domain, that can form a feasible measure of OHS vulnerability.
Objectives of the study
- Develop a measure of OHS vulnerability among labour market participants that moves beyond demographic worker characteristics towards factors that are closer to risk of injury or illness at the level of the workplace.
- Develop and refine a measure of OHS vulnerability to be used for public health surveillance purposes.
The development of an OHS vulnerability measure is expected to lead to a greater understanding of the factors that put workers at increased risk of work injury and illness, taking the focus off the characteristic of workers and onto the work they do. The results will be of interest to prevention authorities, workers’ compensation authorities, OHS practitioners and researchers.
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Workplace Safety & Prevention Services
Public Services Health & Safety Association
Canadian Institutes of Health Research