IWH Organizational Performance Metric (IWH-OPM)

Published: January 2016

The Institute for Work & Health Organizational Performance Metric (IWH-OPM) is an evidence-based, eight-item questionnaire used to help organizations assess and improve their health and safety performance. IWH-OPM scores indicate where improvements might be made to health and safety policies and practices in order to prevent injuries or illnesses from occurring. 

The IWH-OPM was developed by the Institute for Work & Health in collaboration with health and safety professionals in Ontario. Ontario workplaces across a wide range of sectors and sizes participated in a two-part study to test the validity of the IWH-OPM.

The study results showed that IWH-OPM scores were correlated with both past and future OHS performance—i.e. workplaces that scored high on the IWH-OPM had lower injury claims rates in the three years both before and after completing the questionnaire, whereas those that scored low on the IWH-OPM had higher injury claims rates.

Who should use this questionnaire

Senior managers, occupational health and safety professionals and joint health and safety committees can use the IWH-OPM as a leading indicator tool to measure their workplace’s health and safety performance and identify areas that need improvement before injuries and illnesses occur. The IWH-OPM is designed to be completed by the person in the workplace most knowledgeable about the organization’s health and safety policies and practices.

The IWH-OPM can also be used to broadly define an organization’s OHS performance and where it should be focusing its efforts to improve outcomes: on compliance, improvement or continuous learning. The Alberta Government’s user’s guide on Leading Indicators for Workplace Health and Safety explains how to use the IWH-OPM for this purpose.

Users can also benchmark their IWH-OPM scores to others in their sector in Ontario. The benchmarks come from approximately 1,400 Ontario organizations that completed the IWH-OPM in 2011 to 2013 as part of another study on leading indicators.

The following items related to the IWH-OPM are available:

  • the IWH-OPM questionnaire, along with information on interpreting the score and further steps;
  • IWH-OPM sector benchmarks for comparing results (note that the benchmarks are based on information collected from 2011 to 2013); and
  • IWH-OPM follow-up questions to further identify areas for improvement.