What's new

Graphic illustration of coronovirus over world map
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IWH and COVID-19: Message from the President, Dr. Cam Mustard

At the Institute for Work & Health (IWH), we have implemented a number of workplace social distancing measures. Most of us are working remotely. We have cancelled events scheduled to take place in the near term. We are conducting all meetings virtually.

We know we are in the fortunate position of being able to work remotely. To the health-care workers, emergency service providers, airline and transit personnel, retail employees and others on the front lines, we thank you wholeheartedly for your important work.

You will continue to hear from us through our newsletters, website and social media channels. In the meantime, we wish you the best in these difficult times. Stay safe and be well.

Dr. Cameron Mustard 
President, Institute for Work & Health

a computer workstation next to a children's tent fort
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Setting up a temporary home office in a time of social distancing

Working at home in the middle of a COVID-19 pandemic means having no time and little opportunity to set up ergonomically sound workstations. So what can office workers do to make their kitchen table workspaces as comfortable as possible? We turn to Dr. Dwayne Van Eerd, who co-led the development of eOfficeErgo, for advice.

blurry silhouettes of two colleagues talking
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Poorer post-injury experiences lead to worse RTW outcomes for psychological claimants

Workers’ compensation claimants with work-related psychological injuries report poorer experiences and interactions throughout the return-to-work (RTW) process. According to an IWH study conducted in Australia, these experiences are interconnected, leading to longer time off from work.

Close-up of two pairs of hands, belong to a counsellor and a patient sitting on a couch
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Access to mental health services among workers with physical injuries

Among workers with a compensation claim for a work-related musculoskeletal injury, 30 per cent also experience a serious mental condition. However, a minority of these workers receive treatment for their mental health conditions, according to an Institute for Work & Health study conducted in Australia.

blurry photo of people, potentially workers, walking through downtown
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IWH postpones upcoming forum on newcomers and safety

Due to circumstances related to COVID-19, the Institute is postponing the Safe Work Integration of Newcomers Forum, originally scheduled to take place March 30. We will announce a new date as soon as we know. We continue to monitor updates from public health officials regarding other events due to take place in the spring. They include the annual Systematic Review Workshop, scheduled for mid-May, as well as future IWH Speaker Series presentations.

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Dr. Basak Yanar joins rank of IWH scientists

Congratulations to Dr. Basak Yanar, who was recently promoted from research associate to associate scientist at the Institute. Yanar has been leading research on the working conditions of newcomers to Canada. One of her current projects examines the role of employers, settlement service providers and the occupational health and safety (OHS) prevention system in promoting safe work among new immigrants.

A hard hat, placed next to a check list, against a black background
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Can an eight-item questionnaire pick up on real-world differences in OHS practice?

How well can a set of eight questions capture something as broad and multi-faceted as an organization’s occupational health and safety (OHS) policies and practices? An Institute for Work & Health (IWH) team conducted interviews and worksite visits at organizations that had completed the eight-item leading indicator tool, called the IWH-Organizational Performance Metric. It found consistent patterns in how high- and medium-scorers approach OHS.

A close-up of a man's hand, holding a joint
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IWH Speaker Series: Cannabis at work pre- and post-legalization

Now that the non-medical use of cannabis is legal, how much has changed in workers’ use of, and attitudes about, cannabis at work? Find out at an IWH Speaker Series presentation on March 3, when IWH Associate Scientist Dr. Nancy Carnide shares early results from her surveys of workers pre- and post-legalization.

 

Japanese craftsperson stands in front of his workstation, smiling
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What helps workers with MSDs, pain or mental health conditions return to work?

What workplace-based interventions are effective in helping workers with musculoskeletal disorders, pain and/or mental health conditions return to work (RTW)? What does the research literature say about the effectiveness of case management, work hardening, physician training and other practices on RTW outcomes? Our new Sharing Best Evidence summarizes findings of a systematic review.

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Using coroner data to examine role of cannabis in workplace deaths among recently funded IWH projects

Exploring the use of coroner data to understand the impact of cannabis on work-related deaths, anticipating future labour-market challenges facing young people with disabilities, tracking long-term outcomes for workers’ compensation claimants: these are just some of the new projects under way at IWH, thanks to external grants awarded over the past year.