What's new

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.

Illustration of three workers, two of whom are smoking
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Infographic: Cannabis use at work since 2018 legalization

How have trends in cannabis use changed among workers in Canada since the substance was legalized for recreational purposes in 2018? Findings from the first two surveys of an ongoing IWH project on this question are now available in an infographic.

Three women wearing masks talking to each other at work
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A new IWH Speaker Series season begins with a presentation on safe work for newcomers

After an extended break due to COVID-19, the IWH Speaker Series is back—this time online only. The new season kicks off on October 13, with a presentation by IWH Associate Scientist Dr. Basak Yanar. She discusses research findings on the safe work integration of newcomers, the perspectives of employers and the experiences of immigrant-serving organizations. To find out more and to register, visit the IWH Speaker Series page.

Logo for World Congress COVID-19 and occupational safety and health digital meeting in October 2020
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World Congress 2021 hosting free ‘COVID-19 and OSH’ virtual session in early October

Registraion is now open. On October 5, 2020, a half-day special session on COVID-19 and occupational safety and health (OSH) is being offered by the organizers of the 2021 World Congress on Safety and Health at Work—and IWH is among them as a national co-host of the global event. This free, virtual session will feature thought-leaders discussing innovations in addressing COVID-19 in the workplace, how the future of work is being shaped by the global pandemic, and the relevance of promoting a culture of prevention to address COVID-19. Additional sessions are also being organized for October 6, 2020.

Construction equipment amid dusk and haze
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Three methods to reduce silica dust in construction: comparing the costs and benefits

Silica dust is responsible for 570 cases of lung cancer in Canada a year; the majority of these are diagnosed in construction workers. Construction workplaces can use different methods to protect workers from exposure to silica dust, but which methods should they opt for? A cost-benefit analysis led by the Institute for Work & Health offers some guidance.

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.