Work and Health Research Lab

Occupational health and safety policy and systems

Reprisals Study

Participation of workers is a central tenant of occupational health and safety (OHS) systems of protection. The ability to raise concerns about health and safety without fear of reprisal is a cornerstone. This McMaster University-based study examines the situations of workers who have completed a reprisal complaint about their experiences, the satisfaction with the protection afforded them and impact on their lives. The University of Waterloo section of the study links these data with an analysis of MacEachen’s data on Ontario OHS inspectors and Ministry of Labour regulators.

Research team: Wayne Lewchuk, Andy King, Ellen MacEachen, Alan Hall, Eric Tucker, Terry Aversa, Julia Goyal.

Health and Safety Inspectors

Successful occupational health and safety regulation depends on appropriate design, effective program delivery, and compliance. In the context of a changing labour market, where subcontracting, franchising, and third party management are increasingly common and non-standard forms of employment (such as temporary work and self-employment) have grown, there are new challenges affecting firms’ compliance with occupational health and safety regulatory standards.  We examined how non-standard work situations and risks facing vulnerable workers were identified and handled in the inspection process.

Research team: Ellen MacEachen, Ron Saunders, Katherine Lippel, Emile Tompa, E., Christine Carrasco, Lisa Redgrift, Sarah Sanford.

Systematic Review of Occupational Health and Safety Regulations

We identified English-language peer-review qualitative research literature (1990 to 2014) that focused on conditions for occupational health and safety regulation effectiveness, evaluated the quality of identified studies, and synthesized the evidence on conditions of effectiveness of OHS regulation.

Read the findings here.

Listen to an oral presentation here.