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Monochrome splatter painting of a woman in distress
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Depressive symptoms and arthritis linked to higher chance of work disability

Research has shown that people with arthritis face difficulties finding work and staying at work. Now, a new study finds that the risks of work disability are even greater for people with arthritis and depressive symptoms—people who account for one in eight working-age adults in the U.S. The IWH study, based on a nationally representative U.S. survey, has been published in Arthritis Care and Research

Disability and Work in Canada conference logo
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Call for proposals: Disability and Work in Canada 2020 Virtual Conference

The Disability and Work in Canada 2020 (DWC 2020) Conference will be held virtually this year over four days in late November and early December. Organizers are accepting proposals for different types of sessions from the disability community, businesses, unions, policy-makers, service providers and other interested parties. The call is open until Friday, September 25. 

A blurry image of people at work
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Episodic health conditions challenge workplace disability management systems

Employers are recognizing that they need a new model of disability management to support workers with episodic health conditions, according to a new Institute for Work & Health study. These conditions, which are characterized by periods of good health interrupted by unpredictable periods of illness and disability, can raise a host of issues for workplaces—including issues related to privacy, stigma and trust.

A vista of a small town in British Columbia
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Urban-rural differences in work disability days not always as expected

We know from past studies that injured workers in rural areas are likely to be off work longer than injured workers in cities. Now, a study involving IWH scientists takes a closer look at urban-rural differences in work disability across several provinces and industrial sectors. It finds a more nuanced picture, one in which injured workers in the more rural areas are not necessarily the ones with the longest disability durations.

Illustration of a worker at home, watching online conference
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Accommodating episodic disabilities—a Lancaster House audio conference featuring Dr. Monique Gignac

What are the most common challenges in accommodating workers with episodic disabilities? How should key communication challenges be dealt with? What types of accommodations are generally helpful to workers with episodic disabilities? These are just some of the questions examined at a May 14 audio conference hosted by The Lancaster House, featuring Institute for Work & Health Scientific Co-Director and Senior Scientist Dr. Monique Gignac and several leading labour lawyers.

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 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.

A woman studies data and charts projected on a screen
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IWH Speaker Series presentation: Introducing a new CSA standard on work disability management systems

On February 4, CRWDP director and IWH Senior Scientist Dr. Emile Tompa introduces a new standard created by the CSA Group, in conjunction with the Centre for Research on Work Disability Policy (CRWDP) and Conestoga College. At the IWH Speaker Series presentation, Tompa discusses how the Work Disability Management Systems Standard (CSA Z1011) sets out best practices on injury/illness rehabilitation, return-to-work plans, and accommodation of workers with disabilities.

A worker in a wheelchair sits with colleagues in a busy office
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Pan-Canadian strategy on disability and work unveiled at conference

After two years of extensive consultation with a host of stakeholders, the pan-Canadian strategy on greater inclusion of people with disabilities in the labour market is now out. The strategy was unveiled in December at the 2019 Disability and Work in Canada Conference, where participants looked ahead for opportunities to make progress with concrete, achievable initiatives.