Occupational health and safety management audit instruments: a literature 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

The use of occupational health and safety (OHS) audits has grown in recent years. Auditing is now seen as an effective method for ensuring compliance and improving the performance of prevention systems. IWH carried out a narrative literature review in order to determine what is known about the reliability and validity of these audit instruments. Besides reviewing literature in OHS, the team looked at findings from the process safety field as well.


The literature review, finished in 2005, found little published research information on the measurement properties of OHS management audits. The findings from this narrative review raise questions about the OHS management system-based audit instruments that are in common use. It appears that a good deal of effort goes into developing the content for many of the audit tools reviewed. Unfortunately, a lot of this effort was ill documented.

Related research summaries

OHS management audit instruments: summary of a literature review . Sharing Best Evidence: Institute for Work & Health, February 2006.

Related scientific publications

Bigelow P, Robson LS. Occupational health and safety management audit instruments: a literature review. Institute for Work & Health; 2005.

Project status


Research team

Phil Bigelow, Institute for Work & Health (PI)
Lynda Robson, Institute for Work & Health (PI)

Funded by

Workplace Safety and Insurance Board of Ontario