About us

The Institute for Work & Health (IWH) is an independent, not-for-profit research organization based in Toronto, Canada. Our goal is to protect and improve the health, safety and wellbeing of working people, and to promote their full and inclusive work participation, by providing and mobilizing high-quality, relevant research in two broad areas: work as a determinant of health, and health as a determinant of work.


What we do

Since 1990, the Institute for Work & Health has been conducting research and developing evidence-based products to inform those involved in protecting and improving the health, safety and wellbeing of workers and in promoting their full and inclusive work participation. Our multidisciplinary research examines the inter-relationships between work and health from worker, workplace and system perspectives. We also train and mentor the next generation of work and health researchers.


Our mission and values

The Institute for Work & Health focuses on a single mission: to conduct and mobilize research that supports policy-makers, employers and workers in creating healthy, safe and inclusive work environments. In pursuing this mission, we strive to ensure our research and knowledge exchange activities adhere to the values of excellence, integrity, innovation, respect, collaboration, equity and accountability.

Silhouette chalk drawing of group of people representing Board of Directors

Our funding and governance

The Institute for Work & Health is a not-for-profit organization that operates with core funding from the Province of Ontario, with the Ontario Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development (MLITSD) holding the stewardship for this funding. The Institute has an arm's-length relationship with the Ministry to ensure the independence and impartiality of our research. We are governed by a Board of Directors made up of senior business, labour and academic leaders, and we get scientific guidance from a Scientific Advisory Committee, which reports to the Board.


Our history

The Institute for Work & Health was established in 1990 as the Ontario Workers’ Compensation Institute. Over the following decades, the fledgling organization with six staff and a loosely defined mandate grew to be a mature and unique interdisciplinary research and knowledge transfer organization with over 50 employees. Today, the Toronto-based Institute is recognized provincially, nationally and internationally for its contribution to the fields of occupational health and safety, work injury and disability prevention, inclusive work, and work-related population health.