The effect of active and passive occupational health and safety (OHS) training on OHS awareness and empowerment to participate in injury prevention among workers in Ontario and British Columbia (Canada)

Astrid M. Konijn, A. Morgan Lay, Cécile R.L. Boot, Peter M. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To investigate whether differences in methods of Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) awareness training result in differences in worker awareness of rights and responsibilities and worker empowerment to participate in injury prevention. Methods: Repeated cross-sectional surveys were conducted on 3911 working adults employed in two Canadian provinces – British Columbia and Ontario. Participants were asked if they had participated in OHS awareness training in the preceding 12 months. Using information on type of training received respondents were grouped into those receiving active and passive training. Adequacy of awareness of workplace hazards and empowerment to participate in injury prevention were measured by six and five statements respectively. Multivariable logistic regressions examined association between type of training and awareness and empowerment outcomes. Results: In multivariable models workers who reported receiving OHS awareness training reported higher levels of OHS awareness compared to those who did not receive training, with the relationship being stronger for active training (OR = 2.87, 1.96–4.21), and active and passive training (OR = 2.22, 1.66–2.98), compared to passive only training (OR = 1.52, 1.16–1.99). Only combined active and passive training was associated with higher empowerment (OR = 1.70, 1.33–2.17), with estimates for other types of training being close to the null. Conclusion: Exposure to OHS awareness training is associated with higher OHS awareness among workers in a broad range of occupations. Mode of training is important, with more active training associated with stronger impacts on awareness than passive training methods.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)286-291
Number of pages6
JournalSafety Science
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018


  • Canada
  • Injury prevention
  • Occupational health & safety
  • Training outcomes
  • Workplace hazards

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