UBC Faculty Research and Publications

Metrics to assess injury prevention programs for young workers in high-risk occupations : a scoping review of the literature Smith, Jennifer; Purewal, Birinder Praneet; Macpherson, Alison; Pike, Ian


Introduction: Despite legal protections for young workers in Canada, youth aged 15–24 are at high risk of traumatic occupational injury. While many injury prevention initiatives targeting young workers exist, the challenge faced by youth advocates and employers is deciding what aspect(s) of prevention will be the most effective focus for their efforts. A review of the academic and grey literatures was undertaken to compile the metrics—both the indicators being evaluated and the methods of measurement—commonly used to assess injury prevention programs for young workers. Metrics are standards of measurement through which efficiency, performance, progress, or quality of a plan, process, or product can be assessed. Methods: A PICO (population, intervention, comparison, outcome) framework was used to develop search terms. Medline, PubMed, OVID, EMBASE, CCOHS, PsychINFO, CINAHL, NIOSHTIC, Google Scholar and the grey literature were searched for articles in English, published between 1975-2015. Two independent reviewers screened the resulting list and categorized the metrics in three domains of injury prevention: Education, Environment and Enforcement. Results: Of 174 acquired articles meeting the inclusion criteria, 21 both described and assessed an intervention. Half were educational in nature (N=11). Commonly assessed metrics included: knowledge, perceptions, self-reported behaviours or intentions, hazardous exposures, injury claims, and injury counts. One study outlined a method for developing metrics to predict injury rates. Conclusion: Metrics specific to the evaluation of young worker injury prevention programs are needed, as current metrics are insufficient to predict reduced injuries following program implementation. One study, which the review brought to light, could be an appropriate model for future research to develop valid leading metrics specific to young workers, and then apply these metrics to injury prevention programs for youth.

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