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Managing Safety and Operations: The Effect of Joint Management System Practices on Safety and Operational Outcomes

Tompa, Emile PhD; Robson, Lynda PhD; Sarnocinska-Hart, Anna MA; Klassen, Robert PhD; Shevchenko, Anton PhD; Sharma, Sharvani PhD; Hogg-Johnson, Sheilah PhD; Amick, Benjamin C. PhD; Johnston, David A. PhD; Veltri, Anthony PhD; Pagell, Mark PhD

Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine: March 2016 - Volume 58 - Issue 3 - p e80–e89
doi: 10.1097/JOM.0000000000000616

Objective: The aim of this study was to determine whether management system practices directed at both occupational health and safety (OHS) and operations (joint management system [JMS] practices) result in better outcomes in both areas than in alternative practices.

Methods: Separate regressions were estimated for OHS and operational outcomes using data from a survey along with administrative records on injuries and illnesses.

Results: Organizations with JMS practices had better operational and safety outcomes than organizations without these practices. They had similar OHS outcomes as those with operations-weak practices, and in some cases, better outcomes than organizations with safety-weak practices. They had similar operational outcomes as those with safety-weak practices, and better outcomes than those with operations-weak practices.

Conclusions: Safety and operations appear complementary in organizations with JMS practices in that there is no penalty for either safety or operational outcomes.

Institute for Work & Health, Toronto (Drs Tompa, Robson, Sarnocinska-Hart, Sharma, Johnson, Amick, Pagell); Department of Economics, McMaster University, Hamilton (Dr Tompa); Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto (Drs Tompa, Johnson); Ivey Business School at Western University, London, Ontario (Dr Klassen); York University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (Drs Shevchenko, Sharma, Johnston); Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work, Florida International University, Miami (Dr Amick); College of Public Health and Human Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis (Dr Veltri); and Michael Smurfit Graduate School of Business, University College Dublin, Blackrock, County Dublin, Ireland (Dr Pagell).

Address correspondence to: Emile Tompa, PhD, Institute for Work & Health, 481 University Avenue, Suite 800, Toronto, ON M5G 2E9, Canada (

Funding for this research has been provided by the Ontario Workplace Safety & Insurance Board's Research Advisory Council Grant #08010. The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Copyright © 2016 by the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine