Disability Management Practices in Ontario Health Care Workplaces

  • Renee M. Williams
  • Muriel G. Westmorland
  • Harry S. Shannon
  • Benjamin C. AmickIII
Original Paper


Background: Workplace disability management programs are important in managing injury and disability. Methods: A stratified random sample of 188 employers in health care workplaces (71 hospitals, 48 nursing homes, 42 private clinics, and 27 community clinics) completed a mailed Organizational Policies and Practices (OPP) questionnaire. The OPP asked questions about eight workplace disability management practices. This article compares disability management practices across the four types of health care workplaces. Results: A one-way analysis of variance for each of the eight practices demonstrated significant differences across facility types for all practices, except ergonomic practices. For unionized versus non-unionized workplaces, there were significant differences in all practices, except ergonomic practices. For workplaces with formal policies versus those without policies, there were significant differences in all practices, except people-oriented culture and safety diligence. Conclusion: Variations in disability management practices in health care workplaces need to be addressed to provide more effective prevention and treatment of work-related injuries and disability.


Disability management Organizational behavior Health care Surveys Organizational policies and practices Rehabilitation 



The authors thank the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research and Dr. Rochelle Habeck for permission to use the Organization Policies and Practices Questionnaire. This work is supported by a grant from the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Board; Contract grant number: 00-009. Dr. Amick’s contributions were supported by a grant from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health; Contract grant number: 5RO11OH03523. We also thank the members of the Steering Committee: Al Bieksa, Karl Krevar, Margaret Keatings, Andrew King, and Mary Luck for their assistance with the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Renee M. Williams
    • 1
  • Muriel G. Westmorland
    • 1
  • Harry S. Shannon
    • 2
    • 3
  • Benjamin C. AmickIII
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.School of Rehabilitation ScienceMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada
  2. 2.Program in Occupational Health and Environmental MedicineMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada
  3. 3.Institute for Work & HealthTorontoCanada
  4. 4.University of Texas School of Public HealthHoustonUSA

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