It is a given that those implementing work safety interventions want those interventions to be effective, that is, they should reduce the risk and rate of occupational injuries. Yet evaluation of those interventions – to demonstrate (or disprove) their effectiveness - has been relatively uncommon (Verbeek, 2007).
There have been numerous ‘small’ scale measures put into practice over the past hundred or more years. While most interventions were not formally evaluated, many were no doubt effective individually to at least some degree and cumulatively to a large degree. The overall rates of work injury (notably severe and fatal injuries) declined dramatically over the twentieth century, so much so that the Centers for Disease Control in the United States declared the improvements to be one of the 10 great public health achievements of the century (CDC, 1999a).