Employer investments in occupational health and safety: establishing benchmarks for Ontario

Reasons for the study

In Ontario, no information on employer expenditures and investments on occupational health and safety (OHS) is currently available. This study addresses this gap by collecting detailed estimates of firm-level spending on health and safety from Ontario employers. Data is being collected on five dimensions of health and safety spending: (1) management and supervision, (2) training, (3) personal protective equipment, (4) external consulting services, and (5) health and safety improvements attributed to investments in facilities, vehicles and equipment.

Objectives of the study

  • To obtain detailed estimates of firm-level expenditures and investments in OHS for a representative sample of employers in the province on Ontario
  • To provide participating employers with a benchmarking report comparing their OHS expenditures to peer organizations in their economic sector

Anticipated results/impact

The information gathered in this study is of interest to participating employers and joint health and safety committees, as well as to safety group sponsors, trade associations and the Ontario Ministry of Labour.

Related scientific publications

Mustard C, Tompa E, Landsman V, Lay M. What do employers spend to protect the health of workers?. Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health. 2018 [Epub ahead of print]. doi:10.5271/sjweh.3778.

Related interviews and articles

Related research summaries

What do employers spend to protect the health and safety of workers?. Issue Briefing: Institute for Work & Health, September 2018.

Project status


Research team

Cameron Mustard, Institute for Work & Health (PI)
Sabrina Imam, Institute for Work & Health
Morgan Lay, Institute for Work & Health
Kay Nasir, Institute for Work & Health
Emile Tompa, Institute for Work & Health

Participating organizations

Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters Association
Public Services Health & Safety Association
Workplace Safety & Prevention Services

Funded by

Ontario Ministry of Labour Research Opportunities Program