Effectiveness of training and education for the protection of workers: a systematic review

Reasons for the study

Occupational health and safety (OHS) training is an important part of managing workplace hazards and risks. Such training may involve instruction on identifying occupational risks and how to control them, learning about safe workplace practices and how to properly use personal protective equipment.

Businesses want to know whether training can meet the goals of decreasing workplace injuries and illness, and whether the cost of training programs can be justified. This systematic review was conducted to determine whether OHS training and education programs have a beneficial effect on workers and firms.

Progress

The results of this systematic review were published in 2010. The review showed that workplace education and training programs have a positive impact on OHS practices of workers. However, OHS training on its own was not shown, in this review, to have an impact on health (for example, by reducing injuries or symptoms). The review also found insufficient evidence to determine whether a single session of high engagement training has a greater impact compared to a single session of low/medium engagement training.

Related scientific publications

Robson LS, Schulte PA, Amick B, Stephenson CM, Irvin E. Response to Weinstock and Slatin's (2012) critique of IWH-NIOSH systematic review of the effectiveness of OSH training. New Solutions. 2013;23(2):227-232. doi:10.2190/NS.23.2.b.
Robson LS, Stephenson CM, Schulte PA, Amick B, Irvin E, Eggerth DE, Chan S, Bielecky AR, Wang AM, Heidotting TL, Peters RH, Clarke JA, Cullen KL, Rotunda CJ, Grubb PL. A systematic review of the effectiveness of occupational health and safety training. Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment and Health. 2012;38(3):193-208. doi:10.5271/sjweh.3259.
Robson LS, Stephenson C, Schulte P, Amick B, Chan S, Bielecky A, Wang A, Heidotting T, Irvin E, Eggerth D, Peters R, Clarke J, Cullen KL, Boldt L, Rotunda C, Grubb P. Systematic review of the effectiveness of training and education for the protection of workers. Institute for Work & Health; 2010.

Related research summaries

Effectiveness of OHS education and training. Sharing Best Evidence: Institute for Work & Health, January 2010.

Project status

Completed

Research team

Lynda Robson, Institute for Work & Health (PI)
Carol Stephenson, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (PI)
Paul Schulte, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Ben Amick, Institute for Work & Health
Stella Chan, Institute for Work & Health
Amber Bielecky, Institute for Work & Health
Anna Wang, Institute for Work & Health
Terri Heidotting, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Emma Irvin, Institute for Work & Health
Don Eggerth, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Robert Peters, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Judy Clarke, Institute for Work & Health
Kim Cullen, Institute for Work & Health
Lani Boldt, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Cathy Rotunda, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Paula Grubb, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health