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This study evaluates the effects of the Labour Inspection Authority`s regulatory tools on workplace exposures to prevent employee ill health. Norwegian municipal enterprises with employees in the home care sector have been randomized to three different experimental groups and to one control group. We hypothesize a significant lower level of work environmental exposures and health complaints, after adjusting for pre-intervention measures, in the experimental groups compared to the control group.
A variety of work environmental exposures are shown to cause ill health. Compliance with occupational health and safety legislation and regulation is assumed to prevent work-related ill health. The Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority oversees that enterprises comply with the requirements of the working environment laws and regulations. The agency possesses two key regulatory tools to ensure compliance, i.e. inspections and guidance.
Inspections are used to check whether enterprises meet legal requirements. If inspectors reveal violations to legal requirements, the Labour Inspection Authority may respond with orders, coercive fines, and shutdown of operations and in worst-case report enterprises to the police.
Guidance are used to notify the enterprises of the legal requirements pertaining to work environmental standards, and to advice the employers and employee representatives concerning the most effective means of realizing compliance with the legal requirements.
Enterprises randomized to the experimental groups will receive one of three different intervention activities from the Labour Inspection Authority, i.e. targeted inspection visits, participation on a one-day workshop led by two inspectors on how to reach compliance with occupational health and safety (OHS) standards, or participation in an online risk assessment course for conducting written objectives in relation to health, environment and safety activities.
The interventions will be carried out at the organizational level (enterprise), whereas the effects of the interventions on working environment and health complaints will be measured at the individual level (employee). Two months before the Labour Inspection Authority perform their interventions, a baseline questionnaire assessing self-reported organizational, psychosocial and mechanical work factors and health complaints will be sent to all home-care workers employed in the included municipal enterprises. The effects of the different interventions on work environment and employee health will be evaluated through questionnaire measurements 6, 12 and 20 months post interventions.
Inspection visits, Guidance workshops, Online risk assessment tool
Not yet recruiting
National Institute of Occupational Health, Norway
Published on BioPortfolio: 2019-03-04T02:08:22-0500
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