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Effectiveness of the Labour Inspection Authority’s regulatory tools for work environment and employee health: study protocol for a cluster-randomised controlled trial among Norwegian home-care workers
  1. Anne-Marthe R Indregard1,
  2. Stein Knardahl2,
  3. Jan Shahid Emberland2,
  4. Øivind Skare3,
  5. Håkon A Johannessen1
  1. 1Department of Occupational Health Surveillance, National Institute of Occupational Health, Oslo, Norway
  2. 2Department of Work Psychology and Physiology, National Institute of Occupational Health, Oslo, Norway
  3. 3Department of Occupational Medicine and Epidemiology, National Institute of Occupational Health, Oslo, Norway
  1. Correspondence to Dr Håkon A Johannessen; hajo{at}stami.no

Abstract

Introduction There is a need to evaluate whether, and to what degree, labour inspections or other regulatory tools have the desired effects on psychosocial, organisational and mechanical work environment, and employee health. The Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority (NLIA) uses different tools and strategies to enforce compliance with occupational safety and health (OSH) legislation. The aim of the present study is to evaluate the effects of labour inspections and other regulatory tools employed by the NLIA. The home-care service is one of the fastest growing occupations and a prioritised area for the NLIA, hence the present study will investigate regulatory tools in this sector.

Methods and analysis The research project has been designed as a longitudinal, cluster-randomised, controlled trial and will be conducted among Norwegian home-care workers. The objective of the research project is to evaluate the effects of the NLIA’s regulatory tools (inspection and guidance) on: (1) compliance with OSH legislation and regulation; (2) psychosocial, organisational and mechanical work environment; (3) employee health in terms of musculoskeletal and mental health complaints; and (4) sickness absence. Public home-care services have been randomised to three intervention groups and one control group. Home-care services in the intervention groups will receive one of three intervention activities from the NLIA: (1) inspection from the Labour Inspection Authority; (2) guidance through an online interactive risk-assessment tool; and (3) guidance on psychosocial, organisational and mechanical work environment through workshops. The interventions will be performed at the organisational level (home-care service), and the effects of the interventions on the working environment and health complaints will be measured at the individual level (home-care employees).

Ethics and dissemination This project has been approved by the Regional Committees for Medical and Health Research Ethics (REC) in Norway (REC South East) (2018/2003/REK sør-øst C), the Norwegian Center for Research Data (566128), and will be conducted in accordance with the World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki. The results will be reported in international peer-reviewed journals.

Trial registration number NCT03855163.

  • occupational safety and health
  • work environment
  • employee health
  • cluster-randomised controlled trial
  • effect evaluation

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Footnotes

  • Collaborators The research project is a collaboration between the Labour Inspection Authority and the National Institute of Occupational Health (STAMI). The Labour Inspection Authority will perform their inspections and guidance in the randomised municipalities. STAMI is responsible for the process evaluation and for collecting data from home-care workers about their work environment and health.

  • Contributors HAJ and SK: first version of the study design. AMI: draft of the protocol manuscript. AMI, HAJ, SK, ØS and JSE: participation in the final design of the study and coordination. All authors read, revised and approved the final protocol manuscript.

  • Funding The project is funded by the National Institute of Occupational Health and the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval This project has been approved by the Regional Committees for Medical and Health Research Ethics (REC) in Norway (REC South East) (2018/2003/REK sør-øst C), the Norwegian Center for Research Data (566128), and will be conducted in accordance with the World Medical Association Declaration of Helsinki.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement Data will be available 3 years after study completion. Data access request will be reviewed by NSD - Norwegian Centre for Research Data. URL: https://nsd.no/nsd/english/index.html.

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