Preventing injury, illness and disability at work: what works and how do we know?

Report cover

Published: October 2003

by: Frank JW, Cullen KL, Breslin FC, Cole DC, Cote P, Franche RL, Mustard C, Reardon R, Shannon HS, Sinclair S

Historically, occupational health & safety (OHS) programs have been directed at workplace safety management and also at reducing workers' exposure to chemical and/or physical hazards. But after several decades of concentrated effort by researchers, policy-makers and employers, the decline in rates of workplace injuries is decelerating and long absences from work persist after injury.

Leading OHS researchers agree that workplace injuries are related to a complex set of risk factors, including physical, ergonomics, psychosocial and work-organizational factors. They also agree that, in many cases, these injuries can be prevented by adopting certain policies, procedures and practices.

This paper is intended to initiate a dialogue about prevention among all those who are interested in making Ontario workplaces safer and healthier by building a framework for further discussion and activity.