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

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Call for new Board members closes August 12

Don't miss this opportunity to play a part in the governance of the Institute for Work & Health. The Institute's Board of Directors is looking for new members. Please help us spread the word by forwarding this call for members to qualified individuals. Submissions are accepted until Friday, August 12.

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Blurred figures of workers walking

How daily movement patterns are linked to heart health of workers

How much physical activity do Canadian workers actually do in a day, and when? And what patterns of movement are associated with lower risks of cardiovascular disease? An Institute for Work & Health (IWH) study drew on activity tracker data to answer these questions. It found that people who were sedentary—i.e. who did little physical activity throughout the day—had the highest risk of heart disease compared to most other groups. No surprise there. What is surprising, however, was how their heart health risk compared with those who did vigorous, tiring work all day.

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Black silhouettes of two women in dialogue, with colourful speech bubbles above them

Return-to-work communication: workplace stakeholders share their strategies

Communication is central to disability management, especially in large and complex organizations where communication challenges can be exacerbated by the involvement of multiple parties and inconsistent practices. An IWH research team set out to better understand the strategies used by workplace stakeholders to effectively communicate return-to-work (RTW) issues. Their insights are now summed up in the latest Research Highlights.

Read the Research Highlights

A man and a woman work together to push a trolley through a warehouse

New review sums up sex/gender differences in work injury and illness outcomes

Men and women may be part of the labour force in roughly equal proportions. But many jobs and industries are still dominated by one sex/gender or another. In that light, a new systematic review at IWH looks at how work exposures and injury/illness outcomes are different for men and women.

See what the literature says

13 colourful cardboards, each with a question mark cut-out in the middle, overlap each other in a pile

Widely used survey unable to isolate specific psychosocial work dimensions

Guarding Minds @ Work is a widely used survey designed to measure 13 psychosocial dimensions of the work environment that have the potential to affect worker mental health. However, a joint study by the Institute for Work & Health and Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers finds the survey unable to measure each of the 13 dimensions in isolation. This has implications for workplaces that use the measure to assess how well they are doing on specific psychosocial dimensions, such as workforce civility and respect, workload management and more, says the research team.

Read about the findings

IN THE CURRENT ISSUE...
  
Higher injury risk linked to cannabis use at or before work, but not to cannabis use off-work
  
How government funding can best support the employment of persons with disabilities
  
Widely used survey lacks ability to distinctly measure the 13 factors of the psychosocial work environment
  
And more....

 

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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.

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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