Where should we be going, and how should we get there?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Ben Amick
Institute for Work & Health

Leading indicators of occupational health and safety system performance help leaders and decision-makers make evidence informed decisions about targeting strategies, policy needs, organizational changes needed and system equity issues. They create a common ground for discussion and debate about what key occupational health and safety system actors are doing, how well they are doing it and where policy influences practice. A key group of leading indicators are about organizational performance. Yet there remains little consensus on what are the best leading indicators of organizational performance are reflecting little consensus in the scientific community. In Ontario, the Ministry of Labour (MOL), Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) and the Health and Safety Associations (HSAs) collaborated to develop a leading indicator. The work was lead by the Health and Safety Associations and supported by the Institute for Work & Health. The project resulted in a short two-page questionnaire to be administered to management representatives of 1000 Ontario employers. Over 800 employers participated and IWH linked the employer data to WSIB claims data. Results will be presented to show the reliability and validity of the eight questions developed as a leading indicator of organizational performance. Next steps for the use of the metric will be discussed. The project raised many questions and has resulted in a larger survey of 5000 Ontario employers to build on this work and to determine the feasibility of developing a benchmarking knowledge base for the Ontario Prevention System.