Synthesizing and tailoring OHS knowledge for use in specific provincial and local contexts

Reasons for the study

Effective decision-making in occupational health and safety (OHS) requires having up-to-date evidence on what works from the best available research at hand. However, the research literature does not typically take into account how implementation may be constrained by the demographic, economic or resource context of a jurisdiction/region that is considering action. Evidence-informed practices and policies need to be made based not only on an understanding of ‘what works,’ but also on an understanding of ‘what will work here.’ The purpose of this project is to develop and test an innovative methodology for synthesizing current scientific knowledge and tailoring it for use in specific provincial and local contexts.

Objectives of the study

  • To produce a practical and relatively inexpensive way for OHS stakeholders in Manitoba, as well as in other provinces, to develop increased research synthesis capacity
  • To enhance the use of current knowledge about the causation, prevention and treatment of occupational injuries and diseases tailored to the context of the province’s industries, workplaces and compensation system
  • To develop and test an innovative methodology for providing decision support for provincial and local OHS stakeholders by synthesizing the best available evidence on questions chosen by them, and then contextualizing the results to produce recommendations geared to be effective in their specific contexts

Anticipated results/impact

The project will culminate in a handbook that offers a step-by-step guide to provincial and local OHS stakeholders on how to organize and undertake a contextualized synthesis.

Related scientific publications

Irvin E, Cullen KL, Van Eerd D, Saunders R, Johnson L, Bornstein S, Butt A. Managing depression in the workplace: a systematic review contextualized for Manitoba. Institute for Work & Health; 2017.
Bornstein S, Irvin E, Van Eerd D, Saunders R, Johnson L, Passmore S, Cullen KL, Butt A. Evidence in context for occupational health and safety: operational handbook. Institute for Work & Health; 2017.

Related interviews and articles

Therapy can help manage depression, but in Manitoba, access to therapists is a concern . At Work: Institute for Work & Health; No. 89, Summer 2017.
Developing a contextual understanding of systematic review findings in OHS . At Work: Institute for Work & Health; No. 89, Summer 2017.

Project status

Completed

Research team

Emma Irvin, Institute for Work & Health (PI)
Stephen Bornstein, Memorial University (PI)
Kim Cullen, Institute for Work & Health
Ron Saunders, Institute for Work & Health
Dwayne Van Eerd, Institute for Work & Health
Amanda Butt, Memorial University
Leslie Johnson, University of Manitoba
Steve Passmore, University of Manitoba

Participating organizations

Memorial University’s SafetyNet Centre for Occupational Health & Safety Research
University of Manitoba
Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba

Funded by

Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba's Workplace Research and Innovation Program