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Close-up of floor markings indicating six feet distances
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Webinar: Understanding infection control practices and COVID spread at work

From the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, public health authorities recognized workplaces as a potential site of transmission. However, there remain large information gaps about workplace COVID-19 protection practices and COVID-19 spread at work. What types of infection control practices were in place at workplaces that continued to operate? How many cases of COVID-19 infection were transmitted at work? Find out on October 19, in an IWH Speaker Series by Dr. Peter Smith, who will share results from two studies conducted jointly with Public Health Ontario.

Fracking rig workers in BC climb tower
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IWH Speaker Series presentation: the nature and extent of claim suppression in B.C.

A new IWH Speaker Series season is around the corner. To start off the season on Tuesday, September 28, presenters Dr. Ron Saunders, an adjunct scientist at IWH, and John O’Grady, a partner at Prism Economics and Analysis, share their research estimating the nature and extent of claim suppression in British Columbia. Find out more on the events page.

Title: 5 things we think you should know, and five thumbnail images
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Five things we think OHS practitioners should know: findings from recent IWH research

Five of our most practical research findings from the past year for professionals in occupational health and safety (OHS) are all together in one handout. The 2021 edition of 5 Things We Think You Should Know is now available. Please download and share.

female factory worker sitting on floor with tools, looking worried about what to do
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Weaker OHS procedures, policies explain small employers’ higher injury risks: study

Workers at small firms say they are more frequently exposed to hazards and report more work-related injuries and illnesses than workers at large firms. But an Institute for Work & Health study finds the injury risks in large and small firms even out when weaker occupational health and safety policies at small firms are taken into account.

Silhouettes of construction workers against an orange sky
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Benefits outweigh costs when protection from UV radiation is offered to construction workers

Ultraviolet radiation due to sun exposure is one of the most common causes of work-related cancer in Ontario. A new study by IWH examines the costs and benefits of providing protective clothing and shade shelter to avert work-related non-melanoma skin cancer over 30 years.

A pair of hands roll a cannabis joint
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What factors differentiate people who use cannabis at work and those who don't?

Job visibility. Supervisors willing to address on-the-job cannabis use. When examining the factors that set apart people who used cannabis at work from those who used cannabis but never on the job, researchers at IWH found some factors that were expected, including the factors mentioned above. But some of the factors they found were both surprising and hard to explain.

A female construction worker stands next to a steel girder
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New resource to help workplaces implement MSD prevention programs

Workplaces currently use a range of practices to prevent musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs)—from ergonomics training and workstation adjustments to work redesign. To help workplaces identify and implement appropriate prevention programs, a research team at IWH worked with partners in Newfoundland and Labrador to create a resource that draws upon the best available research evidence, integrated with practitioner expertise and stakeholder experiences. The resource is now available to download. 

Masked restaurant worker prepares take-out food orders
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Issue Briefing examines role of workplace COVID outbreaks in Ontario’s second wave

In the current second wave of COVID-19 in Ontario, workplace outbreaks—not including outbreaks in health-care, congregate living (e.g. correctional) and educational settings—represent slightly over five per cent of all cases among working-age adults, down from a high of 22 per cent in June. That’s according to an analysis by IWH Scientific Co-Director Dr. Peter Smith and President Dr. Cam Mustard, detailed in a new Issue Briefing.

Three construction workers smile for the camera
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The “union safety effect” in Ontario’s construction sector: study update

Five years ago, a study conducted by IWH compared work-related injury rates between unionized and non-unionized companies in Ontario’s institutional, commercial and industrial (ICI) construction sector. It found unionized companies had lower rates of lost-time injury claims than their non-unionized counterparts, after accounting for other factors like company size. Is this “union safety effect” still holding true? On Tuesday, January 12, Dr. Lynda Robson shared an update at an IWH Speaker Series presentation. The full report of that study is now available.

A worker wearing an apron and a cloth facial mask
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Second study finds COVID-19 protection at work is linked with workers' mental health

Levels of anxiety and depression are higher when workers feel they lack COVID-19 protection on the job. That's according to a study of Canadian workers not in health-care, a second in a pair of studies conducted by the Institute for Work & Health (IWH) and Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW) in the early months of the pandemic. Mental health was even poorer among essential workers who said they had no protection at work than among those who had lost their jobs since the start of the pandemic, according to this second study.