Past events

19 Oct 2021

IWH Speaker Series

Workplace COVID-19 protections and transmission: Findings from population-level data in Canada

Peter Smith, Institute for Work & Health

From the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, public health strategies to reduce the spread of the coronavirus recognized workplaces as a potential site of transmission. However, there remain large information gaps about workplace COVID-19 protection practices and COVID-19 transmission at work. In this presentation, Dr. Peter Smith shares findings from two recently completed studies from a collaboration between the Institute for Work & Health and Public Health Ontario. The first describes the type and prevalence of infection control practices at work sites that continued to operate. The second study estimates rates of COVID-19 cases due to workplace outbreaks across industry groups in Ontario between April 2020 and March 2021.

28 Sep 2021

IWH Speaker Series

Estimating the nature and extent of claim suppression in British Columbia's workers' compensation system

Ron Saunders, Institute for Work & Health; John O'Grady, Prism Economics and Analysis

To what extent are workers in British Columbia pressured or induced to not report or claim benefits for their work-related injuries and illnesses? A study on the nature and extent of claim suppression in B.C. was recently conducted by Institute for Work & Health and Prism Economics and Analysis. In this presentation, study co-leads Dr. Ron Saunders and John O'Grady share what they found.

20 Sep 2021


XXII World Congress on Safety and Health at Work

The Institute for Work & Health (IWH) is one of the national co-hosts of the XXII World Congress on Safety and Health at Work, taking place September 20-23, 2021. This digital event will offer world-class speakers, creative experiences, elevated networking, premium content, and access to thought leaders — all the things you’ve come to expect from the World Congress, the world’s largest event for the international occupational health and safety community.

8 Jun 2021

IWH Speaker Series

What can hospital emergency records tell us about the incidence of work-related traumatic injuries in Ontario?

Cameron Mustard, Institute for Work & Health

Every year, hospital emergency departments in Ontario treat an average of 100,000 cases of work-related injuries or illnesses. What can the records of these cases tell us about the reporting of work-related injuries and illnesses to Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB)? In this presentation, Dr. Cameron Mustard shares findings from research comparing WSIB claims data with records of hospital emergency department visits over a fifteen-year period (2004-2017).

11 May 2021

IWH Speaker Series

The health paradox of physically demanding work: What is it and should we be concerned?

Aviroop Biswas, Institute for Work & Health

Emerging research describes a physical activity paradox: physically demanding work characterized by heavy lifting, repetitive exertion and awkward body postures can increase a worker’s risk of cardiovascular conditions and mortality, going against our well-known understanding of the health benefits associated with regular physical activity during leisure time. Dr. Aviroop Biswas explains what we know so far about this physical activity paradox and shares findings from his own research about the paradox among Canadian workers.

28 Apr 2021

Other events

National Day of Mourning

The National Day of Mourning, held April 28 every year, is a day to remember all those who have lost their lives or suffered health consequences due to work hazards. Many of the Institute's partner organizations in the prevention system are sharing stories or holding virtual events to mark the day.

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.