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2 medium–sized centres of a regional airline in Australia

Intervention group (I): Appointment of operational safety manager; focus groups to identify hazards; confidential safety hazard reporting system; safety meetings with management; safety information database; safety information to all staff. Comparison group (C): : Confidential hazard reporting system only

Intermediate outcomes Airline Safety Culture Index (lower score = better safety culture): I: Pre 58; Post 45 C: Pre 69; Post 92 Hazardousness (perceptions of staff)(lower score = lower perceived hazardousness) I: Pre 140; Post 92 C: Pre 140;Post 120 Hazardousness likelihood (perceptions of staff) I: Pre 76; Post 44 C: Pre 76; Post 68 Number of hazard reports: I: 48; C: 9 Actions taken on identified safety hazards I:13; C:0 Implementation: Change in % of OHSMS elements implemented between 1st and 2nd audit (mean): 9% Larger companies made more changes Of OHSMS elements, greatest change in Workplace Injury Management; least change in Performance Indicators (statistics)

Authors: Program can have positive influence on airline safety performance, specifically: improving staff confidence in how safety is managed, increasing staff willingness to report hazards and incidents, improving organizational safety culture and reducing staff perceptions of the severity and likelihood of safety hazards occurring within the airline/ Reviewers: Uncertainty as to selection process for sites involved., and equivalency of the 2 sites. However, the study used multiple measures, some of which were objective, and all of which were consistent in their direction of c hange.

20 small-medium sized fabricated metal product companies in Australia (4 withdrawals)

Guidelines tailored to participants’ industry; networking meetings; audits with recommendations for change

Author: It was possible to improve the level of OHS management in small and medium companies although not all companies were motivated by the collaborative and voluntary approach. Reviewers: Non-random sample, and large refusal rate, so these results cannot be generalized to the larger population. The influence of the networking component was not analyzed in this study.

1 large teaching hospital in Manitoba

Database to aid in record- keeping, data collection/ analysis, hazard identification, risk assessment, performance measurement, continuous improvement, program and economic evaluation

Economic outcomes: % reduction in hospital’s Workers’ Compensation assessment rate, 1990-95: 23%. Estimated savings 1990-95, based on decrease in WC premium rates: $2,866,000.

Author: Use of databases permitted targeting of areas requiring attention, substantial savings due to workers’ compensation assessment reductions. Reviewers: Health care industry’s premium rates’ more moderate decline controlled for compensation system- related changes. Estimate of financial benefits would be improved by sensitivity analysis of premium rate assumed for the absence of intervention for the 1991-95 period. Available data support interpretation that financial benefit is attributable to prevention efforts, although analysis of historical trend in premium rates would be more conclusive.

First Author (Year) Alsop (1999)

Edkins (1998)

Pearse (2002)

Yassi (1998)

Table 4.3.1 Summary of Evidence in Voluntary OHSMS Studies





1 large municipality in Australia

Integration of OHS management with quality and environmental management involving common corporate processes (training, procurement and supply, hazard identification and incident reporting, risk assessment and control), and risk factors specific to individual business units.

Economic outcomes: Reduction in Workers’ Compensation premiums, 1995/6 to 1998/1999: from 4.00% to 1.90% Net premium rate as a percentage of remuneration in 1999-2000: lower premiums, compared to industry, in 19 of 20 business units

Authors: Significant improvements in key performance criteria for H&S management, including a major cultural change in intervention group. Reviewers: Implementation of Quality and Environmental Management Systems may also have contributed to results. Analysis of historical trend in premiums, and comparison of such with industry rates (or another municipal government) would be required to allow greater confidence in conclusions.

Institute for Work & Health


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