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Ontario companies participate in leading indicators research project
An occupational health and safety (OHS) research project aims to make leading indicator information a key part of decision-making through the development of two new technological tools: an app and a dashboard.
The Ontario Leading Indicators Project - Phase 3, led by the Institute for Work & Health (IWH), is building on research regarding the most reliable and practical leading indicators of OHS performance.
In the previous research phases, thousands of workplaces were recruited by Ontario health and safety associations, including Workplace Safety North. The participants completed questionnaires and received benchmarking reports showing their results, as well as aggregated sector results for comparison.
Now researchers want to know how leaders use that information and other evidence to support OHS change and improvement in the workplace.
Researchers conducting interviews and focus groups across province
“We don’t know enough about how organizational leaders make occupational health and safety decisions,” says Dr. Ben Amick, IWH Senior Scientist and lead researcher on the project. “We’d like to tailor leading indicator information to meet their needs.”
To that end, the research team are interviewing and conducting focus groups with organizational leaders across Ontario. IWH and representatives from health and safety associations will be contacting a number of organizations that received a benchmarking report, asking them to take part in a 30-minute interview.
App and dashboard to address decision-making needs
The input from Ontario workplaces will help transform the questionnaires into two new tools – a mobile application and a benchmarking dashboard – expected to be available in 2016.
The mobile application is based on the Organizational Performance Metric questionnaire, which provides a quick assessment of OHS and starts a conversation about injury and disease prevention.
The benchmarking dashboard is based on the Ontario Leading Indicators Project questionnaire, which is similar to a gaps and opportunities analysis, and measures an organization’s health and safety performance. This would make the resource more accessible and allow instant comparisons on scores within and across sectors.
“We hope these new tools will motivate leaders to continue making improvements in health and safety and allow them to measure their progress over time,” says Amick.
Two questionnaires about workplace policies, practices and procedures have been developed and tested, and are currently available to complete on the IWH website:
1. IWH Organizational Performance Metric (IWH-OPM) - an 8-item questionnaire, and
2. Ontario Leading Indicators Project (OLIP) - a more comprehensive set of five leading indicator questionnaires.