Evaluating the implementation of a participatory organizational change intervention in long-term care

Reasons for the study

The long-term care sector is fast-paced and demanding, putting workers at significant risk of work-related injuries. Among long-term care workers, musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) and slips, trips and falls (STFs) are a major source of injuries. MSDs and STFs account for over 60 per cent of all lost-time claims in Ontario’s health-care sector. The Public Services Health & Safety Association has developed an organizational-level participatory ergonomics program, called “Employees Participating in Change” (EPIC), to reduce the incidence of MSD and STF hazards and injuries in long-term care. IWH researchers are evaluating the implementation of the EPIC program.

Objectives of the study

  • To understand the implementation of an organizational-level participatory ergonomics intervention in long-term care and its effects on outcomes such as self-efficacy, norms development and hazard reduction
  • To examine if implementing the EPIC program results in a reduction of MSD or STF hazards
  • To develop a tool to help guide the participatory change process in long-term care

Anticipated results/impact

Findings will help determine the benefits, challenges and processes of implementing organizational-level participatory ergonomics programs in long-term care homes to reduce workplace injuries.

Related interviews and articles

Long-term care home sees safety culture change after participatory ergonomics study. At Work: Institute for Work & Health; No. 88, Spring 2017.

Project status


Research team

Dwayne Van Eerd, Institute for Work & Health (PI)
Ben Amick, Institute for Work & Health
Kim Cullen, Institute for Work & Health
Teresa D'Elia, Institute for Work & Health
Era Mae Ferron, Institute for Work & Health
Sheilah Hogg-Johnson, Institute for Work & Health
Cameron Mustard, Institute for Work & Health
Lynda Robson, Institute for Work & Health
Ivan Steenstra, Morneau Shepell
Henrietta Van Hulle, Public Services Health & Safety Association
Richard Wells, University of Waterloo

Participating organizations

Ontario Personal Support Workers Association
Ontario Public Service Employees Union
Public Services Health & Safety Association

Funded by

Ontario Ministry of Labour