Occupational diseases are important but less attention has been focused on an organized approach to prevention. Health and Safety Associations (HSAs) provide prevention services to Ontario workplaces. Occupational health and safety consultants (OHSCs) at the HSAs may lack knowledge and tools related to occupational disease that could impair delivery of occupational disease prevention services.
The objectives of the current study are to
1) identify and assess the gaps in awareness, knowledge, skills and resources of OHSCs and explore potential barriers to implementation, and
2) inform the development of education programs and tools that bring knowledge to the point of practice in OD and OSD prevention
The project will focus on occupational skin disease, but will also aid in the prevention of occupational diseases generally. Focus groups of OHSCs from the four HSAs will be conducted. The results will be analyzed to determine key knowledge, skill and resource needs of Ontario OHSCs to better develop, implement and evaluate prevention materials aimed at reducing exposure to hazards and thereby reducing occupational disease. A workshop will be held with system partners to review the results and develop a program to address gaps. It will also identify other groups for needs assessment activity.
D. Linn Holness (St. Michael’s Hospital)