Skip to main content

Labor Day offers an opportunity to highlight the effectiveness of regulatory enforcement in improving workplace health and safety and the effect that safety inspections have on improving worker safety.

Government health and safety inspections that result in citations or penalties effectively motivate employers to make improvements that reduce work-related injuries, according to a systematic review of research by the Institute for Work & Health (IWH).

The review, led by IWH Senior Scientist Dr. Emile Tompa, was published online in June in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine.

“These findings reinforce the importance of regulators being out in the field and identifying, citing and penalizing non-compliant organizations,” says Tompa.

Tompa acknowledges that no regulator has the resources to inspect all workplaces and to levy penalties for all violations, which makes additional efforts to drive awareness and reduce injuries and illnesses necessary as well.

“Regulators may need to heighten awareness by actively communicating the consequences of non-compliance, and possibly make information about non-compliers easily available to the general public,” he added.

Researchers set out to answer the question: “What is the strength of the evidence on the effectiveness of occupational health and safety (OHS) policy levers in creating incentives for organizations to improve OHS processes and outcomes?”

The team searched for English-language studies related to this question that were published in peer-reviewed journals between January 1990 and June 2013. In the end, 43 studies were rated of sufficient quality to be included in the review.

Besides finding strong evidence that inspections with penalties reduce work-related injuries, the team also found strong evidence that inspections without penalties do not reduce injuries.

“This further confirms that specific deterrence – inspections resulting in penalties – is much more effective than general deterrence – the possibility of being inspected,” notes IWH President Dr. Cam Mustard.

IMEC Technologies provides Safety Management Software to increase worker safety and aid compliance. IMEC’s Safety Management Software will manage inspections and audits, provides hazard identificationincident reporting, management of corrective and preventative actions from generation to closure. IMEC provides lock out tag out software solutions that will allow users to create lockout tagout procedures using an intuitive Mobile App and Manage Lockout Tagout Procedures, also the Review and Execution of those Lockout Tagout Procedures using the Mobile App. Annual Lockout Tagout Procedures audits are conducted using a Mobile App. The Mobile Inspection App allow users to perform inspections and audits, for example the system can be used as a Fire Extinguisher Barcode Inspection Software system to manage monthly fire extinguisher inspections and general fire safety inspections and also to record safety observations and manage corrective actions, anywhere and anytime. The solution can be used as a fire extinguisher barcode inspection software system or life safety inspection system to aid compliance in Higher Education, Healthcare, Industrial and Commercial Organizations. Benefits from a Fire Extinguisher Barcode System include the elimination of paperwork and reducing the burden of compliance with regulations such as NFPA, The Joint Commission. The Incident Reporting App allows users to easily and quickly report incidents, hazards and near-misses, these are then sent to the appropriate people for action and are managed to closure.  Web Apps provide features such as, setup, management, scheduling tools, analysis, reporting and dashboards etc with the ability to report incidents to government bodies such as OSHA and RIDDORHazMat T&T is a hazardous waste management software solution designed for Environmental Service Companies and companies who generate a large quantity of hazardous waste. The solution tracks hazardous waste from cradle to grave aiding compliance, providing accurate waste inventory, increasing waste handling efficiency, reducing risk and also helps manage waste costs. HazMat T&T Hazardous Waste Management Software can be deployed in a number of deployment scenarios, from Large Hazardous Waste Generators, tracking their hazardous waste at their site to Environmental Service and Waste Management Companies using it track and manage hazardous waste at transfer and disposal sites. For more information visit our website