Presentation W P21

W P21 (Poster Presentation):
Employee participation in change: A process evaluation

Presented by: Dwayne Van Eerd


Van Eerd D1,2, Ferron EM1, D'Elia T1, Amick III BC1,3

  1. Institute for Work & Health, Toronto, Canada
  2. University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Canada
  3. Florida International University, Miami, USA



Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) and slips, trips, falls (STFs) are major sources of work disability and injuries in healthcare, accounting for two-thirds of all lost-time claims in Ontario in 2009. The Public Services Health & Safety Association developed a unique and comprehensive participatory ergonomics (PE) program, Employees Participating in Change (EPIC), to reduce the incidence of MSDs and STFs in long term care (LTC). EPIC seeks to build management systems and accountability structures. Our objective is to describe a process evaluation approach and findings in a field study of EPIC.


The study was conducted in six LTC sites (3 intervention, 3 control). Two intervention sites focused on MSDs (two nursing units, dietary and environmental staff, n=122) and one on STFs (four nursing units and dietary staff, n=269). A process evaluation, developed by Linnan and Strickler (2002), has been adapted for participatory programs in LTC. Our process evaluation employs a qualitative approach using structured interviews to capture details about implementation directly from those involved. Interviews were conducted with program participants and frontline staff (n=5 to 7) at three implementation time points.


Staff reported improvements in working relationships and communication with supervisors about health and safety. EPIC participants identified injury prevention efforts as a “win-win” for both management and frontline staff, high levels of staff “buy-in”, and increased regular communication among staff about identifying/managing hazards. Activities from EPIC are beginning to extend facility-wide. For example, in the STF site, an awareness campaign resulted in the purchase of promotional materials and displays, and the purchase of STF prevention educational videos targeting all staff. Program sustainability is also evident, as sites are incorporating MSD and STF hazard identification and management in new worker orientation.


Current analysis is revealing powerful impacts of EPIC implementation for both workers and supervisors. Participants have provided details about the EPIC program that would be difficult to glean using other methods. Findings suggest that interviews are a feasible approach to examine the process evaluation of a PE program in LTC.

Schedule Details

Wednesday October 1
13:00 - 14:00 Poster Viewing
Session: Varia