Exploration of the Impact of Organisational Context on a Workplace Safety and Health Intervention

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Work & Stress

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The Safety and Health Improvement Program (SHIP) was designed to increase workers’ safety and health using supervisor/leadership training. SHIP was implemented and evaluated in a cluster randomized controlled trial with 20 supervisors and 292 construction crew members representing a high-risk industry. The intervention had three components: (1) computer-based training to teach supervisors ways to better support worker safety and work-life challenges; (2) supervisor behavioural self-monitoring to facilitate transfer of training to practice; and (3) team-based discussions with supervisors and work crew members to identify challenges and opportunities for improvement with 30, 60, and 90 day follow-up check-in meetings. Main effects for the intervention on perceptions of family supportive supervisor behaviors, team effectiveness, and work-life effectiveness were not found, suggesting that the pre-intervention context could help explain the lack of intervention effects. We found that the intervention was more beneficial for work crew members who had poorer pre-intervention perceptions of their supervisor (lower leader-member exchange) and lower perceived team cohesion, suggesting the important impact of the organisational context on intervention effects. We argue that perhaps these work crews were more ready for change and improvements in functioning than were the crews that were already functioning well.


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