Occup Environ Med 61:651-660 doi:10.1136/oem.2003.011718
  • Original article

Assessing and intervening on OSH programmes: effectiveness evaluation of the Wellworks-2 intervention in 15 manufacturing worksites

  1. A D LaMontagne1,
  2. E Barbeau2,
  3. R A Youngstrom2,
  4. M Lewiton2,
  5. A M Stoddard3,
  6. D McLellan2,
  7. L M Wallace2,
  8. G Sorensen2
  1. 1Centre for the Study of Health & Society, School of Population Health, University of Melbourne, 207 Bouverie St, Level 4, Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia
  2. 2Center for Community-based Research, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, 44 Binney St, Boston, MA 02115-6084, USA
  3. 3Department of Biostatistics & Epidemiology, School of Public Health & Health Sciences, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA 01003 USA
  1. Correspondence to:
 Associate Professor A D LaMontagne
 Centre for the Study of Health & Society, School of Population Health, University of Melbourne, 207 Bouverie St, Level 4, Melbourne, Victoria 3010, Australia;
  • Accepted 3 March 2004


Aims: (1) To develop a transparent and broadly applicable method for assessing occupational safety and health (OSH) programmes or management systems; (2) to assess OSH programmes in a sample of manufacturing worksites; and (3) to determine whether a management focused occupational health intervention results in greater improvement in OSH programmes compared to minimal intervention controls.

Methods: OSH programmes were assessed using an adaptation of the US Occupational Safety & Health Administration’s 1995 Program Evaluation Profile. Scores were generated from 91 binary indicator variables grouped under four “Essential Elements”. Essential Element scores were weighted to contribute to an overall programme score on a 100 point scale. Seventeen large manufacturing worksites were assessed at baseline; 15 sites completed the 16 month intervention and follow up assessments.

Results: There was considerable variation in Essential Element scores across sites at baseline as judged by our instrument, particularly in “management commitment and employee participation” and “workplace analysis”. Most sites scored highly on “hazard prevention and control” and “training and education”. For overall OSH programme scores, most sites scored in the 60–80% range at baseline, with four sites scoring below 60%, suggesting weak programmes. Intervention sites showed greater improvements than controls in the four programme elements and in overall programme scores, with significantly greater improvements in “management commitment and employee participation”.

Conclusions: The OSH programme assessment method used is broadly applicable to manufacturing work settings, and baseline profiles suggest needs for improvement in OSH programmes in most such worksites. Despite a small sample size, results showed that sustained management focused intervention can result in improvement in these OSH programme measures.