Research Project Summary

Year Funded: 2011 Budget: $134,292.00 Funding Agency: Workplace Safety and Insurance Board of Ontario
Title: Evaluation of a Workplace-level MSD-Prevention Knowledge Transfer Intervention, and the Creation of an on-line MSD Prevention Planning Tool
Category: Transferring Research Knowledge to the Workplace
Subcategory: Transferring Research
Keywords: knowledge transfer, evaluation, workplace intervention research, musculoskeletal disorders, workplace stakeholder research collaboration
Link to research website:


Workplace-level tools are important mechanisms to assist joint health and safety committees (JHSCs). However, there is no standard approach to evaluating workplace knowledge-transfer interventions to see whether these tools result in workplace change. To understand these challenges better, the project aims to develop, with the help of stakeholders, a theory-based evaluation of the impact of a workplace physical-loads questionnaire (validated in an earlier RAC-funded pilot study, #09019). Sixty JHSC co-chairs at multi-sector companies will be interviewed to examine factors which affected the questionnaire’s use as a change tool.


The primary objective of this research is to develop a theory-based evaluation approach for workplace knowledge-transfer interventions to evaluate the impact of a workplace-level physical-loads intervention. It will examine the extent to which the physical loads questionnaire, validated in a previous study, resulted in changes in 60 workplaces. The approach will help us evaluate workplace KT interventions in general. The project is a collaborative, participatory action research project with a transdisciplinary team of researchers, six unions, and the Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW). The physical loads questionnaire will be converted to a web-based validated questionnaire and made widely available for workplace parties to prevent injuries.

Anticipated Results:

This research will generate a theory-based approach to evaluate knowledge-transfer workplace interventions. It will help determine the extent to which workplace parties can make changes considering the barriers and facilitating factors that affect workplace interventions. The rich partnerships developed through the collaborative participatory research will result in a relevant, useful and applicable tool that will be widely available to aid in workplace prevention efforts. This research will also build upon the collaborative research process between researchers and labour which can result in useful outcomes for workplace parties and health and safety system partners in Ontario


Desre M. Kramer (University of Waterloo)