Disability management practices in Ontario workplaces: Employees' perceptions
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PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to obtain employees' perceptions about disability management (DM) at their workplaces. METHODS: Data were obtained from focus group interviews and individual telephone interviews with 58 employees who had sustained a work-related injury or disability in Ontario, Canada. Participants also completed a 22-item Organizational Policies and Practices (OPP) Questionnaire that asked questions about workplace DM practices. RESULTS: Respondents emphasized the need for job accommodation, the importance of open and clear communication and the necessity of job retraining. The provision of ergonomic modifications to their worksites and the development of meaningful and specific DM policies and procedures were seen as key to a comprehensive workplace DM program. Education about health and safety also was identified as an important component of creating a supportive workplace environment. The OPP questionnaire showed good internal consistency (Cronbach's alpha=0.95) and discriminant validity. CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates the importance of workplaces communicating with their employees and respecting their opinions when establishing and carrying out DM policies and practices. The OPP Questionnaire is useful in determining how DM is managed in the workplace.
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