Do We Really Know How Well Our Occupational Accident Prevention Programs Work?
Format of Original
This article summarizes evaluation data for ten types of accident prevention program drawn from 53 program evaluations: personnel selection variables, technological interventions, behavior modification programs, poster campaigns, quality circles, exercise and stress management, nearmiss accident reporting, comprehensive ergonomics, the International Safety Rating System (ISRS), and the Finnish national control program. Standard measures of effect size were computed for source studies which described the effectiveness of programs in terms of the percentage reduction in accidents attributable to the program. By this standard, personnel selection techniques were the least effective (3.8%), and comprehensive ergonomics programs (49.5%) were the most effective. Some methodological issues in safety program evaluation are discussed in conjunction with some further thoughts on a previously published review of ISRS evaluation results (in 1991).