degree of IC implementation. Referring to the methods used in the 1993 survey (Saksvik and Nytro, 1996), the level of implementation was based primarily on the response to a question about how far the implementation had progressed on a five point scale from “not started” to “finished”. Findings from Gaupset (2000) that measures of implementation constructed from responses to questions about specific activities were similar to measures from self-reports provide support for the validity of the measure used. However, the measure used was subjective and was vulnerable to response bias. It is unlikely that this would explain all of the effects reported.
4.4.2 Studies of intermediate outcomes Two studies provided evidence on intermediate outcomes that included changes in health, environment and safety (HES) awareness (Saskvik and Nytro, 1996) and changes in employee perceptions of the work environment (physical and psychosocial) and HES activities as a result of OHSMS implementation (Torp et al., 2000). Both investigations were conducted in Norway and focused on the level of implementation of the IC system in relation to the intermediate outcome variables.
The cross-sectional survey conducted by Saksvik and Nytro (1996) was described previously. A series of questions on the survey were used to construct an index of ‘status of IC implementation’. Respondents were asked about nine specific activities that the authors thought to be a part of, or a consequence of, IC implementation. Amongst those who reported changes due to IC implementation, 69 per cent reported increased health and safety awareness (representing 30 per cent of the total sample). In addition to the limitations described previously, for the subjective question about a change in health and safety awareness, there was the potential for response bias.
Torp et al. (2000) presented the findings of a cross-sectional study performed in the Norwegian motor vehicle repair industry in1996. Motor vehicle repair garages (n=130) scheduled to participate in a health and safety management course along with 181 non-participating garages (approximately 130 matched to the participating garages by firm size and geographic location) were invited to participate in the study. A manager from each garage was sent a questionnaire on IC characteristics at the organizational level and also was asked for consent to distribute questionnaires to employees. The response rate of managers was 80 per cent and 2174 questionnaires were distributed to employees in 237 garages (warehouse and office workers excluded). The response rate among employees was 72 per cent. Managers’ responses were used to construct two indices of implementation of IC at the firm level and the study’s aims were to investigate the relationships between the level of IC implementation and the satisfaction of workers with HES activities, their working environment, participation in HES activities, as well as other outcome variables (discussed in the final outcomes section).
Institute for Work & Health