IWH Speaker Series

The IWH Speaker Series is your opportunity to learn about the latest findings from work and health researchers from the Institute for Work & Health (IWH) and other Canadian and international academic institutions around the world. Whether you attend in person at the Institute's downtown Toronto office or via live stream, these presentations (which typically take place on Tuesdays from 11.00 a.m. to noon EST) allow you to hear about new research directly form the scientist(s) involved, and give you a chance to ask questions about the meaning and interpretation of the findings. For those unable to attend, most presentations in the IWH Speaker Series are audio-recorded and made available as slidecasts, typically within two weeks of the original presentation.

Upcoming presentations

No event is scheduled at this time. Please check back regularly for new information or sign up to receive notifications of upcoming events.

Past presentations

4 Dec 2018

Assessing workplace training for skin exposure prevention

Linn Holness, Centre for Research Expertise in Occupational Disease

For almost 20 years, the Centre for Research Expertise in Occupational Disease has studied skin exposure prevention strategies, including worker training on this common hazard. In this presentation, Dr. Linn Holness shares research findings on training effectiveness, highlighting gaps, barriers and facilitators to training implementation.

27 Nov 2018

Promoting labour market transitions for young adults with chronic disabling conditions: a systematic review

Arif Jetha, Institute for Work & Health

Young adulthood is an important phase of life when most people establish their careers. And yet, it's a time when many young adults with disabling health conditions find themselves excluded from the labour market. A systematic review led by Dr. Arif Jetha examined work-focused interventions to support the transition of these young adults into the labour market. In this presentation, he shares findings and highlights the effectiveness of these interventions across different career stages and disability types.

20 Nov 2018

Clearing the haze: Understanding how Canadian workers use and perceive cannabis at work

Nancy Carnide, Institute for Work & Health

Recreational cannabis is now legal in Canada and many surveys suggest employers are concerned about the potential implications for workplaces. In this presentation, Dr. Nancy Carnide shares preliminary findings of a survey of workers, conducted in June 2018, aimed at understanding patterns of workplace cannabis use and the social norms and perceptions about such use.

6 Nov 2018

An impact analysis of two silica dust exposure reduction strategies

Emile Tompa, Institute for Work & Health

Crystalline silica dust exposure is common in the construction sector. Inhalation of silica dust is known to cause lung cancer, silicosis, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, rheumatoid arthritis and tuberculosis. In this presentation, Dr. Emile Tompa examines the implementation of two approaches to reducing exposure: use of personal protective equipment (i.e. respirators) by all exposed individuals and use of engineering controls (e.g. wet method) wherever and whenever feasible. He shares findings from an impact analysis based on data spanning 30 years.

2 Oct 2018

Introducing the new MSD Prevention Guideline for Ontario

Richard Wells, Centre of Research Expertise for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders (CRE-MSD)

The Centre of Research Expertise for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders (CRE-MSD) kicks off Global Ergonomics Month with the launch of the new MSD Prevention Guideline for Ontario. This initiative builds on a previous guideline and toolboxes, developed in 2005-2006 by the Ontario health and safety system under the auspices of the Occupational Safety and Health Council of Ontario (OSHCO). In this presentation, CRE-MSD's Dr. Richard Wells provides an overview of the updated content and the host of tools and resources to meet the needs of workplaces of all types and sizes. He also outlines the new guideline's three interlinked sources: Quick Start (an introductory guideline for micro and very small businesses), Basic and Comprehensive.

25 Sep 2018

Challenges in designing organizational and system-level interventions to prevent work disability

William Shaw, University of Connecticut Health Center

Interventions to prevent work disability can vary widely. They can include: changes in laws and regulations; provider training and education; outreach and support to workers and supervisors; modified employer policies and practices; and changes in insurance and medical reimbursement policies. Given the very wide band of possible strategies in this area, researchers and policy makers face some serious design challenges when developing feasible and effective interventions. In this presentation, Dr. Bill Shaw discusses three intervention design issues: reach, implementation, and organizational structure. He draws on published and ongoing studies to discuss feasibility constraints, design assumptions and evaluation methods.

26 Jun 2018

Prevention of work injuries using a systematic KTE approach: Experiences from a research project in Denmark

Johnny Dyreborg, National Research Centre for the Working Environment

In a two-part presentation, Dr. Johnny Dyreborg summarizes findings from a systematic review on the effectiveness of safety interventions and describe an interactive approach of knowledge exchange. In the first part of the presentation, he shares preliminary results from a recent review that evaluated a range of different types of safety interventions directed at reducing workplace injuries. In the second part, he discusses the shortcomings of review methodology that decontextualizes research findings. He also outlines an interactive knowledge exchange approach for implementing evidence-based ‘best practice’ injury prevention at the workplace, one that builds on IWH's Knowledge Transfer and Exchange (KTE) methods.

12 Jun 2018

Challenges in accommodating mental and physical health conditions: What workplace parties are saying

Monique Gignac, Institute for Work & Health

In this presentation, Dr. Monique Gignac shares findings from a study examining organizational perspectives on implementing work disability prevention and management practices, as well as key issues in supporting workers with chronic, episodic conditions.

5 Jun 2018

The effects of gradual return to work on sustained return to work

Esther Maas, Partnership for Work, Health, and Safety, University of British Columbia

Gradual return to work (GRTW) provides workers recovering from an injury with the opportunity to limit or modify work tasks and gradually build up work hours and work load with the goal of returning to full hours and duties. In this presentation, Dr. Esther Maas presents her research, which used detailed administrative workers’ compensation calendar data on return-to-work (RTW) in British Columbia to explore the effect of GRTW on sustained RTW. She also discusses opportunities for using population-based data to analyse the costs and effects of GRTW to improve RTW outcomes.

29 May 2018

Superior Mental Wellness @ Work: Results of a comprehensive employee mental health project in northwestern Ontario

Vicki Kristman, Lakehead University; Lynda Fraser, Thunder Bay District Health Unit; Susan Armstrong, Thunder Bay District Health Unit

The Superior Mental Wellness @ Work project is a two-year multi-component initiative aimed at promoting workplace environments that reduce psychological hazards and maintain positive mental health for employees in Thunder Bay and District. In this presentation, members of the project team provide an overview of the project and outline results of the overall program evaluation.