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

Two ambulance parked at the emergency entrance of a hospital in the night

Rates of work injuries have declined in Ontario, except the most severe

Past research in occupational health and safety, including studies conducted at IWH, has shown a general decline in rates of work-related injuries in Ontario over the past two decades. But a new IWH study, based on emergency department records from 2004 to 2017, shows that when it comes to very severe injuries, no such decline was seen among men. It also finds an increase of 18 per cent among women.

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Close-up of file folders of funding projects

Grant round-up: Preventing physical and mental health injuries a focus among externally funded IWH studies

Investigating how daily activity patterns affect workers’ cardiovascular health, helping new businesses to start managing occupational health and safety, and assessing B.C.’s psychosocial work environment to inform a mental health strategy. These are among the latest externally funded projects underway at the Institute.

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A man works at a computer in an dark, empty office late at night, with his head in his hand

Working unpaid overtime linked with high stress and burnout: IWH study

Building on research linking overtime work to depression, anxiety, and other mental health concerns, an IWH study investigated how working unpaid overtime is associated with mental health in Canada’s working population. They found that that the more unpaid overtime hours worked, the more likely a worker is to report stress and burnout.

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From left to right, Dr. Lyne Sauvageau, IRSST president and CEO, and Dr. Peter Smith, IWH president and senior scientist

IWH strengthens relationship with Quebec-based counterpart

Part of IWH’s mission over the next five years is to strengthen the work and health research ecosystem and to expand the Institute’s impact. In a step towards both of these goals, IWH has signed a master cooperation agreement with the Quebec-based non-profit, Institut de recherche Robert-Sauvé en santé et en sécurité du travail (IRSST). This newly strengthened relationship will allow IWH and IRSST to increase their work together in service of creating healthy and safe work environments.

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Institute study examines the effectiveness of working-at-heights training standard

A new data tool highlights patterns of opioid-related harms among Ontario workers

New versions of job accommodation planning tool help employers support staff with episodic disabilities

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.

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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.

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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.

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