Effectiveness of occupational health and safety management systems: a systematic review

We’re looking for managers and supervisors who have supported workers with chronic diseases to take part in this study

If you're a manager or supervisor with experience accommodating employees with chronic physical or mental health conditions, we’d like to talk to you about the challenges you have experienced in supporting these employees while also balancing privacy needs. Your participation would consist of a confidential phone interview of about 30 to 40 minutes.

If interested, please email jbowring@iwh.on.ca or call 1-855-884-1416.

Reasons for the study

Occupational health and safety management systems (OHSMSs) have developed considerably over the last 20 years, yet little is known about their effectiveness. The systematic review aimed to answer these questions: What is the relative effectiveness of mandatory and voluntary OHSMSs on employee health and safety and on associated economic outcomes? What facilitators and barriers are there to the adoption and the effectiveness of OHSMSs? What is the evidence on the cost-effectiveness of OHSMSs?


This systematic review, completed in 2005, concluded that there was insufficient evidence in the published, peer-reviewed literature on the effectiveness of occupational health and safety management systems to make recommendations either for or against them.

Related research summaries

Effectiveness of OHS management systems: summary of a systematic review . Sharing Best Evidence: Institute for Work & Health, February 2005.

Related scientific publications

Robson LS, Clarke J, Cullen KL, Bielecky A, Severin C, Bigelow P, Irvin E, Culyer AJ, Mahood Q. Effectiveness of occupational health and safety management systems: a systematic review. Institute for Work & Health; 2005.

Project status


Research team

Lynda Robson, Institute for Work & Health
Judy Clarke, Institute for Work & Health
Kim Cullen, Institute for Work & Health
Amber Bielecky, Institute for Work & Health
Colette Severin, Institute for Work & Health
Philip Bigelow, Institute for Work & Health
Emma Irvin, Institute for Work & Health
Anthony Culyer, Institute for Work & Health
Quenby Mahood, Institute for Work & Health