Refining estimates of occupational exposures and risk of workplace COVID-19 transmission

11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.


Peter Smith
Institute for Work & Health

The COVID-19 pandemic shone a light on the importance of having accurate data on workplace exposure to infectious diseases. Efforts to estimate infection rates of COVID-19 during the public health emergency were hampered by inadequate information on key factors, such as whether an infected worker had worked remotely, worked on-site, interacted with the public, among others.

In this presentation, Dr. Peter Smith shares results from a study on the relationship between occupational exposures and risk of work-related COVID-19. The study combined workers’ compensation claims information from the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board with labour force estimates from Statistics Canada. This use of combined data sources allowed Smith’s research team to examine the risk of COVID-19 infections that were definitely work-related, while accurately taking into account changes in labour market participation—including working from home—during different phases of the COVID-19 pandemic.

About presenter

Dr. Peter Smith senior scientist and president of the Institute for Work & Health in Toronto. He has extensive experience conducting research related to work injury and its consequences using large population-based surveys and administrative workers' compensation data. His key research interests include: gender and sex differences in the relationship between work and the risk of chronic disease and work injury; the nature and measurement of occupational health and safety vulnerability; return-to-work experiences for people with mental health conditions; and the long-term outcomes of injured workers.

About IWH Speaker Series

The IWH Speaker Series brings you the latest findings from work and health researchers from the Institute for Work & Health (IWH) and beyond. For those unable to attend, the recorded webinar of most presentations in the IWH Speaker Series are made available on its web page within a week of the event.