Past events

6 Apr 2021

IWH Speaker Series

Differences in the return-to-work process for work-related psychological and musculoskeletal conditions: findings from an Australian cohort

Peter Smith, Institute for Work & Health

Many workers’ compensation agencies across Canada have begun accepting claims for chronic mental stress that results from work. In other jurisdictions where psychological claims have been accepted, such types of claims have been linked with greater costs and longer time off compared to physical claims. The potential reasons for these differences have not been well understood. In this IWH Speaker Series presentation, Dr. Peter Smith presents findings from a cohort study of 869 workers’ compensation claimants in the Australian state of Victoria. He highlights differences between the two groups of claimants (psychological and musculoskeletal) in their experiences of the claim and return-to-work processes, and discusses lessons for Canadian jurisdictions.

23 Feb 2021

IWH Speaker Series

Fragmentation in the future of work: Exploring the impact of the changing nature of work on vulnerable workers

Arif Jetha, Institute for Work & Health

The future of work is characterized by diverse social, technological, economic, environmental and political changes, including artificial intelligence and the automation of jobs, an aging workforce, climate change. These are expected to disrupt every industry, transform working conditions and affect the types and availability of jobs. Despite a growing discourse on the changing nature of work, there is a limited understanding of how the future of work will impact vulnerable labour market groups. In this presentation, Dr. Arif Jetha outlines nine major trends that may shape the future of work and have a specific impact on vulnerable workers.

2 Feb 2021

IWH Speaker Series

Ontario Life After Workplace Injury Study: What we've learned so far

Cameron Mustard, Institute for Work & Health

The Ontario Life After Workplace Injury Study (OLAWIS) is looking at the long-term health and labour market outcomes of workers disabled by work injury or illness after they are no longer receiving benefits or services from the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board. As part of the study, over 1,130 eligible claimants were interviewed at 18 months post-injury and asked about a wide range of factors, including their work status and income, physical and mental health, case manager and health-care provider interactions, and employer return-to-work support. In this presentation, Dr. Cameron Mustard shares what the researchers have learned so far about this group of injured workers.

12 Jan 2021

IWH Speaker Series

The union effect on safety in the ICI construction sector: a study update

Lynda Robson, Institute for Work & Health

A study conducted several years ago by the Institute for Work & Health found unionized companies in Ontario's institutional, commercial and industrial (ICI) construction sector had a lower rate of lost-time injury claims than their non-unionized counterparts, after accounting for other factors like company size. In this presentation, Dr. Lynda Robson shares an update of that study, using data from 2012-2018. She discusses whether the latest results support what's called a "union safety effect", and how findings vary by company size and types of construction work.

25 Nov 2020


Disability and Work in Canada 2020

The Disability and Work in Canada 2020 (DWC 2020) Conference will be held virtually this year over four days in late November and early December (November 25 & 26 and December 1 & 2) from 12:30-3:30 EDT. The theme for this year’s conference is the Strategy in Action—Pathways and Impacts.

24 Nov 2020

IWH Speaker Series

Does it matter what workers’ reasons are for disclosing or not disclosing a disability at work? Why and how?

Monique Gignac, Institute for Work & Health

Deciding whether or not to disclose a disability to others at work is a complex consideration. People with many chronic mental and physical health conditions, often called episodic disabilities, experience times of relative wellness punctuated by intermittent periods of activity limitations. How do they decide whether or not to disclose their health conditions? In this presentation, Dr. Monique Gignac shares findings from her study examining participants' reasons and goals for disclosing—and whether these matter to work support outcomes.

10 Nov 2020

IWH Speaker Series

More than just COVID-19 prevention: Exploring the links between PPE, safe work protocols and workers' mental health

Peter Smith, Institute for Work & Health

We have heard a lot about the importance of personal protective equipment (PPE) and infection control procedures (ICP) in reducing workplace COVID-19 transmission. A new study, conducted jointly with the Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW), set out to explore their importance in protecting workers' mental health. In this presentation, Dr. Peter Smith shares results from two surveys, one conducted among health-care workers and the other among the broader Canadian workforce. The findings provide important insights into the additional benefits of adequate design and implementation of employer-based infection control practices—beyond reducing COVID-19 transmission.

27 Oct 2020

Other events

The Walrus Talks at Home: Inclusion

Dr. Emile Tompa, Institute for Work & Health senior scientist and director of the Centre for Research on Work Disability Policy, joins three other thought leaders and industry experts to offer perspectives at The Walrus Talks @home. The topic of this evening's event is: Inclusion, how flexible working styles benefit people with disabilities, and society at large.

22 Oct 2020


Returning to work for people with disabilities in COVID-19

Institute for Work & Health Scientist Dr. Arif Jetha joins a panel speaking on return-to-work challenges for people with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Topics being discussed include: potential barriers and accommodation for COVID-19 in workplaces, employer bias (e.g. assumption of vulnerability), the rights of people with disabilities, among others. The panel webinar is hosted by the Work Wellness Institute.

20 Oct 2020

Other events

Promoting mental health: Lancaster House and U of T's CIRHR training program

To help workplaces develop proactive approaches to employee mental health, Lancaster House and the University of Toronto's Centre for Industrial Relations and Human Resources (CIRHR) are offering a professional learning program for labour relations professionals interested in implementing and/or improving a comprehensive workplace psychological health and safety management system in their workplace. The program, held over three days (October 20, 21 and 26), is led by Dr. Emile Tompa, senior scientist at the Institute for Work & Health and co-director of the Centre for Research on Work Disability Policy. It will provide participants with the latest evidence-based guidance on ensuring workplace psychological health and safety, emphasizing collaborative union-management strategies.

13 Oct 2020

IWH Speaker Series

Safe work integration of newcomers: Employer perspectives

Basak Yanar, Institute for Work & Health

Employers play an important role in the safe and sustained work integration of immigrants and refugees in Canada. Despite this, we know little about employers’ expectations, experiences and challenges in relation to the hiring and retaining of newcomers. In this presentation, Dr. Basak Yanar shares insights gained through a recently completed project on the work integration of newcomers. She discusses the perspectives of employers, as well as the experiences of immigrant-serving organizations that work with employers in promoting safe and sustainable work integration.

5 Oct 2020


COVID-19 and OSH

On October 5-6, 2020, organizers of the 2021 World Congress on Safety and Health at Work are offering free, virtual, half-day special sessions on COVID-19 and occupational safety and health (OSH).

16 Jun 2020


PSHSA's Return to the Workplace Virtual Conference

Return to the Workplace Virtual Conference, hosted by Public Services Health & Safety Association, is designed for organizational leaders. It will explore how COVID-19 has created the next normal for businesses, provide guidance on how to navigate return to the workplace during COVID-19, and outline innovations to help organizations keep employees and customers healthy and safe. Institute for Work & Health (IWH) Senior Scientist Dr. Peter Smith is among the presenters; he and John Oudyk of Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW) will share new study findings on health-care workers' mental health during the pandemic. 

14 May 2020

Other events

Lancaster House audio conference: Accommodating episodic disabilities—the latest law and research

What are the most common challenges in accommodating workers with episodic disabilities? How should key communication challenges be dealt with? What types of accommodations are generally helpful to workers with episodic disabilities? How should workplace parties deal with performance concerns that arise as a result of an employee's episodic disability? These are just some of the questions examined at a May 14 audio conference hosted by The Lancaster House, featuring Institute for Work & Health Scientific Co-Director and Senior Scientist Dr. Monique Gignac.  

13 May 2020

Systematic Review Workshop

POSTPONED: Spring 2020 Systematic Review Workshop

Due to developments related to COVID-19, this event has been postponed.

This three-day workshop teaches participants how to plan and carry out a basic systematic review, understand the appropriate methods for more complex analysis, interpret the results of a meta-analysis and accurately communicate the results and interpretation of a review.

30 Mar 2020

Other events

POSTPONED: Safe Work Integration of Newcomers Forum: Service Provider and Employer Perspectives

Due to developments related to COVID-19, this event has been postponed.

This forum will feature research presentations and discussions on newcomer employment, health and safety, workers’ compensation and return to work, followed by an audience Q&A and panel discussion about solutions for promoting safe employment for newcomers (including future directions in research, policy and service delivery).

3 Mar 2020

IWH Speaker Series

Have cannabis use and perceptions about workplace use changed since legalization?

Nancy Carnide, Institute for Work & Health

Are workers using and thinking differently about cannabis at work now that the non-medical use of cannabis is legal? A team at the Institute for Work & Health led by Associate Scientist Dr. Nancy Carnide is answering this question through annual surveys of Canadian workers, asking about their use and understanding of, as well as their perceptions about, cannabis at work. In this presentation, Dr. Carnide shares early results from her comparison of workers’ pre- and post-legalization responses to questions about cannabis at work.

18 Feb 2020

IWH Speaker Series

Developing practical recommendations for integrating workplace safety and wellness initiatives

Aviroop Biswas, Institute for Work & Health

Workplace wellness programs that also emphasize occupational health and safety (OHS) activities can have greater benefits to the overall health and safety of workers than those that focus on OHS or individual behaviour change alone. When OHS and wellness efforts are coordinated and not in competition for organizational resources, they also benefit the broader organization. In this presentation, Dr. Avi Biswas draws on a recently concluded study to offer practical guidance to employers on integrating safety and wellness activities. He outlines findings of a review of existing research, cross-referenced with stakeholder insights, and highlights what matters most to workplaces when integrating safety and wellness initiatives.

4 Feb 2020

IWH Speaker Series

Introducing the new CSA standard for work disability management systems

Emile Tompa, Institute for Work & Health

Every year, tens of thousands of Canadians become disabled and are unable to work, thereby becoming excluded from the many health advantages of workforce participation. In response to the growing concerns about managing disability in the workplace, the CSA Group, in conjunction with the Centre for Research on Work Disability Policy (CRWDP) and Conestoga College, has developed a new standard called the Work Disability Management Systems Standard (CSA Z1011). In this presentation, CRWDP director and IWH Senior Scientist Dr. Emile Tompa highlights components of the standard, which sets out best practices on injury/illness rehabilitation, return-to-work plans, and accommodation of workers with disabilities.

28 Jan 2020

IWH Speaker Series

Capacity building and evaluation of OHS training in settlement agencies

Basak Yanar, Institute for Work & Health; Eduardo Huesca, Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers

Newcomers to Canada are at an increased risk of workplace injury and illness, due in part to a lack of knowledge about their rights and responsibilities in occupational health and safety (OHS). Settlement agencies are well-positioned to promote OHS awareness among newcomers, but some may lack the resources and capacity to do so. In this presentation, Institute for Work & Health (IWH)'s Dr. Basak Yanar joins Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW)'s Eduardo Huesca to talk about the development and delivery of the OHS capacity-building workshops for settlement agencies. They will share results of an evaluation capturing the experiences of service providers and newcomer clients, and discuss opportunities for Ontario’s OHS system partners to further support the settlement sector.