Using evidence in occupational safety and health (OSH) decision-making may help reduce rates of occupational incidents and poor outcomes for workplace wellbeing. However, the role evidence currently plays within OSH is unclear.
RAND Europe developed a study to explore the role of evidence in OSH decision making and our team at Evolve Workplace Wellbeing contributed to this work. The study involved a rapid evidence assessment, re-analysis of existing interview data, an online survey and new interviews.
The team was able to use this data to highlight the processes involved in OSH and the role of evidence at an operational and systems level within organisations.
Factors that influence decisions and evidence-use in decision-making include: the legal basis and regulations, the business case (e.g. finances, staffing), culture and finally, evidence (e.g. existence, accessibility and relevance). In addition, an organisation’s size can also impact these factors (i.e. larger companies are likely to have greater resources and more specialist staff than smaller companies), as can the country (affecting regulations, expectations and culture).
For those of us involved in sharing evidence, the report suggests that greater investment is required for high quality knowledge translation.
For practitioners in organisations, the report highlights the importance of developing a culture that values safety and engages with evidence.
You can read the full report on RAND Europe’s website: https://www.rand.org/randeurope/research/projects/occupational-safety-and-health–understanding-decision-making-an.html