(Dufour et al., 1998; Lewchuk et al., 1996). To facilitate the discussion of the studies, a brief overview of the regulatory approaches is provided first.
Norway Systematic approaches to OHS management were introduced into the Norwegian offshore oil industry in the 1980s with a major impetus being an oil rig disaster in March 1980 in which 123 workers were killed (Saksvik and Quinlan, 2003). The self regulation of the work environment through employee participation and monitoring was regarded as extremely successful in the offshore operations and laid the groundwork for a national regulatory system.
The Norwegian regulation requiring a systematic approach to OHS came into effect January 1, 1992. The rule, titled “Systematic Health, Environment, and Safety Work” and also referred to as the ‘Internal Control’ (IC) regulation, made it mandatory for every enterprise in Norway to establish an OHS system, regardless of trade or size (Saksvik and Nytro, 1996; Nytro et al., 1998). The regulation specified that systematic actions to comply with and document activities of heath and safety control be performed in accordance with existing health, environment and safety (HES) regulations11, the most important being The Work Environment Act of 1977.
In response to criticisms that the IC regulation was not understandable and the finding that only a small proportion of enterprises had established IC systems, the regulation was modified and the revised version was issued in 1997. The revised regulation placed more emphasis on activities and performance as opposed to documentation (Nytro et al., 1998).
Canada In Canada, the provinces have regulatory authority for health and safety for most workplaces within their jurisdiction (except federal employees and some exempt workplaces). One of the included studies was conducted in Quebec, using data from 1985-1988, which focused on the impacts of landmark legislation that created the Commission de la Securite du Travail (CSST) in 1980. The other study was conducted using data from the province of Ontario, over the period 1976 to 1989, and examined the effects of Bill 70 which took effect in late 1979 and which introduced the “Internal Responsibility System”.
In January 1977, Bill 139, “An Act Respecting Employees’ Health and Safety” came into effect in Ontario. This Act, which allowed workers the right to refuse any work they believed to be dangerous and empowered the Ministry of Labour to order the establishment of joint health and safety
11 These included the Pollution Control Act, Product Control Act, Civil Defense Act, Act Relating to Electrical Installations and Electrical Equipment Changes, and legislation pertaining to fire and explosion hazards and fire prevention.
Effectiveness of Occupational Health & Safety Management Systems: A Systematic Review