What's new

Workplace inspectors inspecting a workplace during COVID, as indicated by the masks they are wearing
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New briefing looks at how OHS authorities responded to COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has posed many challenges for individuals, communities and policy-makers, including how to reduce transmission of the virus in workplaces and prevent its spread from workplaces to the community. So how did occupational health and safety (OHS) authorities, regulators or inspectorates around the world respond to the challenge? A team of researchers led by IWH President Dr. Cameron Mustard conducted a survey of OHS authorities in developed countries. A new Issue Briefing sums up the themes they heard.  

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 close-up of a hand placing down building blocks
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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.

Close-up of Euro bill and map of Europe
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IWH Speaker Series: Estimating the value of OHS in five European countries

Estimates of the economic burden of work-related injuries and illnesses help policy-makers and other stakeholders in occupational health and safety (OHS) set priorities. In a recent European Agency for Safety and Health at Work project, IWH Senior Scientist Dr. Emile Tompa led a team to compile such estimates for five European Union countries: Germany, Poland, Finland, The Netherlands and Italy. On November 12, he shares findings and discusses the methods usedmethods that can serve as a template for economic burden estimates elsewhere.

Image of infographic on cannabis use and the Canadian workplace before legalization
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What were Canadian workers thinking about cannabis use before legalization?

One year ago today, non-medical cannabis was legalized in Canada. Four months before legalization, researchers from the Institute for Work & Health surveyed workers across Canada to find out about their use of, and beliefs about, cannabis at work. These researchers are surveying this same group of workers (and more) for three years post-legalization to find out if their use and beliefs are changing. Some of the findings from the pre-legalization survey are now available in an infographic.