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A roomful of people listen intently to workshop presenter
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Supporting settlement agencies to provide OHS information to newcomers

Newcomers to Canada face a higher risk of workplace injury and illness. That’s due in part to a lack of knowledge about their occupational health and safety (OHS) rights and responsibilities. Settlement agencies can help raise this awareness, but they also need support from the prevention system to do so. That’s according to a recent project involving IWH and several partner organizations.

Logo for World Congress on Safety and Health at Work 2021
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XXII World Congress on Safety and Health at Work now taking place in September 2021

In light of public health guidance regarding COVID-19, the International Organizing Committee (IOC) of the XXII World Congress on Safety and Health at Work has made the difficult decision to postpone the event, which will now take place September 19 – 22, 2021. The good news is that the Congress will still take place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in the heart of downtown Toronto, Canada, exploring the Congress theme Prevention in the Connected Age: Global solutions to achieve safe and healthy work for all. The Congress is also being expanded to include virtual options, including live streaming to facilitate further global engagement.

Given the impact of COVID-19 on workplaces around the world, the IOC has also decided to convene a virtual meeting of global thought leaders focused on COVID-19 on October 5, 2020. More information about this meeting and how to participate will be posted to the Congress website in the coming weeks.

A paramedic wearing a face mask stands next to two ambulances
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COVID-19 concerns greater for workers with health conditions

The COVID-19 pandemic has left many in Canada’s workforce worried about their health and finances. Those worries are even greater for workers living with an underlying and invisible chronic health condition. In the planning of health and safety responses to COVID-19 and the ultimate reopening of workplaces, employers should be aware of the unique needs of this potentially vulnerable group of workers, writes IWH Scientist Dr. Arif Jetha in The Conversation.

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.

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Building capacity in the settlement service sector to promote OHS awareness among newcomers

Newcomers to Canada are at 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). IWH was recently involved in a project focused on supporting settlement agencies to promote OHS awareness among newcomers. In an upcoming IWH Speaker Series presentation, IWH's Dr. Basak Yanar joins Eduardo Huesca of Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW) to talk about OHS capacity-building workshops for settlement agencies. They also discuss opportunities for Ontario’s OHS system partners to further support the settlement sector.

Sticky note clipped to a notebook reads "welcome aboard"
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Link between “newness” and higher injury risk confirmed by systematic review

Workers new to a job, regardless of their age, face higher risks of injury. This workplace health and safety message is based on several studies—including some by the Institute for Work & Health (IWH)—and it has spread far and wide. However, it was only recently that a systematic review on newness and injury risk was carried out. The review, conducted by IWH, confirms a link between newness and the risk of acute injuries—but is inconclusive on the link between newness and the risk of musculoskeletal disorders.

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Rates of workplace violence against women rising in Ontario’s education sector

Women working in Ontario’s education sector are four to six times more likely than their male counterparts to require time off work due to physical assaults on the job.This is according to a recent study from the Institute for Work & Health that looked at workplace violence rates among men and women across various sectors.

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International expert on work precarity and health inequity speaking in Toronto on April 11

Precarious employment is prevalent in low-income countries where as many as three in four workers are employed in the informal economy. Work precarity is also on the rise in high-income countries, where its effects are felt most by young workers, women, migrants and ethnic minorities. On April 11, Dr. Joan Benach, director of the Health Inequalities Research Group at Pompeu Fabra University in Barcelona, Spain, delivers the John R. Evans Lectureship in Global Health. The lecture, co-hosted by IWH, is free and open to the public.

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Ontario employers: tell us about your experience hiring newcomers

Employers play an important role in both hiring and subsequently providing safe work environments for recent immigrants. Researchers at the Institute for Work & Health want to understand the opportunities and challenges employers experience regarding work integration of newcomers, and their resource needs to help newcomers stay safe at work. We invite you to help by participating in a research study that examines the experiences and expectations of employers in relation to hiring and training recent immigrants and refugees in Ontario.