Leading OHS indicators

Occupational health and safety (OHS) leading indicators are performance measures that help predict injuries and illnesses, allowing workplaces and system partners to gauge an organization’s health and safety climate, culture and performance before injuries and illnesses occur. Their opposite is lagging indicators such as injury and claims rates, which measure performance based on injuries and illnesses that have already occurred. IWH research focuses on finding and validating the measures that will accurately gauge the likelihood of an organization’s future OHS performance, as well as the best way to use leading indicators to prevent future work-related injuries, illnesses and deaths.

Featured

Graphic of gears indicating meshing of workplace and culture
At Work article

What research can do: SAFE Work Manitoba incorporates IWH tool into safety culture framework

‘Credibility’ a reason provincial agency uses IWH-OPM to define safety culture and measure improvement efforts
Published: February 13, 2019
Graphic of gears indicating meshing of workplace and culture
At Work article

What research can do: SAFE Work Manitoba incorporates IWH tool into safety culture framework

They had a five-year plan with initiatives related to building a culture of safety across Manitoba. But they were missing a definition of safety culture—and a way to measure it. That was when SAFE Work Manitoba turned to IWH expertise.
Published: February 2019
Graphic of gears indicating meshing of workplace and culture
Impact case study

Safety culture framework in Manitoba incorporates IWH expertise, tools

SAFE Work Manitoba incorporated IWH expertise and tools into the framework of its ambitious safety culture initiative, which aims to make workplace injury prevention a genuine priority among all segments of the population across the province.
Published: November 2018
Project
Project

Identifying relevant OHS leading indicators in Manitoba's construction sector

IWH is collaborating with the Construction Safety Association of Manitoba (CSAM) to identify relevant leading indicators of injury and illness in the province’s construction sector, and to encourage their use through tools that creates a conversation about best practices in the sector.
Status: Ongoing
Sawmill in B.C.
Impact case study

IWH eight-item tool helping WorkSafeBC assess workplace cultures, interact with employers

The IWH Organizational Performance Metric (IWH-OPM) helps WorksafeBC act on a review recommendation to assess safety culture in the province's workplaces.
Published: December 2016
Illustration of man in suits staring at question marks
At Work article

OPM follow-up questions now available to help firms act on leading indicator scores

IWH and Ontario's health and safety associations collaborate to create follow-up questions to IWH-OPM score results.
Published: April 2016
A young female engineer on a construction site is reviewing a document
Tools and guides

IWH Organizational Performance Metric

This evidence-based, eight-item questionnaire helps organizations assess and improve their health and safety performance by indicating where improvements might be made to health and safety policies and practices in order to prevent injuries or illnesses from occurring. 
Published: January 2016
A word cloud in the shape of a hardhat focusing on work safety
Tools and guides

OHS Vulnerability Measure

This tool assesses the extent to which a worker may be vulnerable to occupational health and safety (OHS) risks at work in four areas: hazard exposure; workplace policies and procedures; worker awareness of hazards and OHS rights and responsibilities; and worker empowerment to participate in injury and illness prevention.
Published: January 2016
Group of executives meet in boardroom
Impact case study

IWH leading indicator tool wins over advocates across Canada

The eight-item IWH-OPM is used in several provinces to strengthen safety performance in workplaces.
Published: December 2015
Restaurant manager looks at survey
At Work article

IWH leading indicator tool wins over advocates across Canada

The eight-item IWH-OPM is adopted in several provinces as a measure of health and safety performance in workplaces
Published: August 2015
IWH Speaker Series
IWH Speaker Series

Assessing the validity of the IWH-OPM: Workplace case studies

Workplaces and jurisdictions are looking for valid, reliable and practical indicators of occupational health and safety (OHS) performance. In light of this, OHS professionals from prevention system partners in Ontario, in collaboration with the Institute for Work & Health (IWH), developed a leading indicator known as the IWH Organizational Performance Metric (IWH-OPM). Prior testing of the eight-item IWH-OPM suggests it has acceptable internal consistency and structural validity, and is also predictive of future OHS performance (as measured by claims rates). In this plenary, Dr. Basak Yanar, a researcher and lecturer in organizational behaviour at the University of Windsor, reports on a further qualitative study of the IWH-OPM that contributes to the ongoing analysis of its measurement properties. The construct validity of the IWH-OPM was examined through case studies in five organizations, comparing the item and scale scores with observational and interview data on OHS performance. Results indicate good construct validity; that is, organizations that scored high on the scale also had the best OHS practices compared to those that scored lower on the scale.
Published: April 2015