Research that matters to protecting the health and safety of workers

The Institute for Work & Health (IWH) is a Canadian leader in work injury and disability prevention research. An independent, not-for-profit organization, IWH conducts and shares actionable research to promote, protect and improve the health and safety of working people.

Latest news & findings

Cover image of At Work 103

New issue of At Work now available

Inside the Winter 2021 issue:

  • Unionized firms have lower lost-time injury rates than non-unionized ones, according to a second IWH study in Ontario's industrial, commercial and institutional construction sector.
  • The differences between people who use cannabis at work and those who use, but never at work, are all related to the jobs people do or the work environments they're in.
  • The impact of the pandemic on people with disabilities was a dominant theme at the 2020 Disability and Work in Canada conference, but some participants also spoke of hope.

Read the issue

A pair of hands roll a cannabis joint

What factors differentiate people who use cannabis at work and those who don't?

Job visibility. Supervisors willing to address on-the-job cannabis use. When examining the factors that set apart people who used cannabis at work from those who used cannabis but never on the job, researchers at IWH found some factors that were expected, including the factors mentioned above. But some of the factors they found were both surprising and hard to explain.

Find out more

A female construction worker stands next to a steel girder

New resource to help workplaces implement MSD prevention programs

Workplaces currently use a range of practices to prevent musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs)—from ergonomics training and workstation adjustments to work redesign. To help workplaces identify and implement appropriate prevention programs, a research team at IWH worked with partners in Newfoundland and Labrador to create a resource that draws upon the best available research evidence, integrated with practitioner expertise and stakeholder experiences. The resource is now available to download. 

Download the resource

Two women sharing a confidence at work

Why people decide to disclose an episodic disability at work—and how that matters

Some of the most common chronic health conditions are episodic and invisible. As a result, people living with them often grapple with the complex decision of whether to tell their employers about their disability. A new study, led by IWH Senior Scientist Dr. Monique Gignac, looks at people’s reasons for disclosing or not. The findings shed light on how people’s reasons matter to the work support they subsequently receive.

Read about the findings

Masked restaurant worker prepares take-out food orders

Issue Briefing examines role of workplace COVID outbreaks in Ontario’s second wave

In the current second wave of COVID-19 in Ontario, workplace outbreaks—not including outbreaks in health-care, congregate living (e.g. correctional) and educational settings—represent slightly over five per cent of all cases among working-age adults, down from a high of 22 per cent in June. That’s according to an analysis by IWH Scientific Co-Director Dr. Peter Smith and President Dr. Cam Mustard, detailed in a new Issue Briefing.

Read the Issue Briefing

IN THE CURRENT ISSUE...

Unionized firms have lower lost-time injury rates than non-union firms, a second study in Ontario's industrial, commercial and institutional construction sector confirms.

How people's reasons for disclosing or not disclosing their episodic condition at work matter to the work support they receive.

What sets apart people who use cannabis at work from those who use but never on the job? The answers all relate to the types of jobs they do and the work environments they’re in.

 

Read the issue

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Tools and guides

Integrate evidence-based policies and practices into your occupational health and safety, return-to-work and rehabilitation programs. IWH has created a number of tools and guides based on our research findings that can help improve program outcomes.

View tools and guides

Impact case studies

Find out how IWH research is making a difference. Read our impact case studies, in which policy-makers, workplaces and other stakeholders in health, safety and disability prevention tell how IWH research helped improve their policies, programs and practices.

Go to case studies

Research summaries

Whether it’s a policy briefing, a systematic review summary or the highlights of a specific research project, we’ve compiled a number of plain-language summaries to help you understand the research we’re doing, what we have found, and how we found it.

Get the summaries

Events

Learn directly from the researchers themselves about their latest findings in health, safety and disability prevention. We host regular presentations (in person or live stream) through our IWH Speaker Series and our annual Nachemson lecture.

See upcoming events