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Number of Studies

Figure 4.1.8 displays the industrial sector of studies proceeding and not proceeding to DE. There were five industrial sectors identified in this literature (manufacturing, services, multiple sectors, mining and transportation).

Figure 4.1.8. Industrial Sector

9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0

Non-DE studies DE studies

Manufacturing

Services

Multiple

ining

Transportation

4.2 Quality of the literature investigating OHSMSs A secondary aim of the review was to characterize the content and methodology of existing research literature on OHSMSs, thereby identifying research gaps and weaknesses, in order to provide guidance on future research in this area. Towards this end, this section characterizes the methodological limitations of studies of OHSMSs. The intention was that this would enable us to give some guidance for the design of future research in the field.

In this section, a summary of the methodological limitations of the 18 studies reviewed is presented, including both the nine studies retained for data extraction and the nine studies excluded after quality appraisal. The focus of the following discussion will be on the quality of the different types of evidence (implementation, intermediate OHS outcome, final OHS outcome, economic outcome, facilitators/barriers to OHSMS effectiveness). In addition, quality by mandatory/voluntary status of the OHSMS under investigation will be explored. Finally, special attention is given to controlling for confounding factors when investigating OHSMSs.

Summary of quality appraisals As shown in Figure 4.1.4, final OHS outcomes were the most frequently reported type of evidence in this body of literature (n=10; 40 per cent of all outcomes). Yet, with only three of the ten meeting the QA criteria, the quality of this type of evidence was, as a whole, low. The most common QA criterion not met with respect to the final OHS outcomes was “control for confounding factors” (see Table 4.2.1). The use of inappropriate statistical tests (including an inappropriate lack of a test) was the second most frequently encountered fault.

Institute for Work & Health

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