OHS Vulnerability Measure

The OHS Vulnerability Measure, developed at the Institute for Work & Health (IWH), measures the extent to which a worker may be vulnerable to occupational health and safety (OHS) risks at work. IWH research has shown that vulnerability, as measured by this 27-item questionnaire, is associated with elevated rates of self-reported work injury and illness.

The tool assesses OHS vulnerability in four areas: hazard exposure; workplace policies and procedures; worker awareness of hazards and OHS rights and responsibilities; and worker empowerment to participate in injury and illness prevention. Using the measure, a worker is considered most vulnerable to injury and illness when exposed to hazards in the workplace in combination with inadequate workplace policies and procedures, low OHS awareness and/or a workplace culture that discourages worker participation in injury and illness prevention.

The OHS Vulnerability Measure can be used to assess worker vulnerability at a point in time. It can also be administered again at a later date after introducing an injury and illness prevention program to gauge the success of the program in reducing vulnerability.

Below, you can download the guide to using the measure (which includes the English-language questionnaire within it), or you can download the questionnaire only for distribution to workers (available in English and French). Please note that the questionnaire is simply titled "Workplace health and safety survey." Although the tool is officially called the OHS Vulnerability Measure, the questionnaire for distribution to workers doesn't use this title so as not to introduce potential bias or fear among those completing it.

The following video short, in English and French, provides a short explanation of the concept of vulnerability used in the OHS Vulnerability Measure.

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