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Dr. Peter Smith
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Dr. Peter Smith named new IWH president

On Monday, January 17, IWH’s Dr. Peter Smith becomes the new president of IWH. Smith has been a member of IWH’s scientific staff for over 15 years, most recently serving as the Institute’s scientific co-director. He replaces Dr. Cameron Mustard, who is retiring after 20 years in the position. In a statement issued earlier this week, Kate Lamb, chair of the IWH Board of Directors, warmly thanked Mustard for his tremendous contribution to the world of occupational health, safety and wellness. His impact as president is immeasurable, and his legacy will continue through his ongoing work with the Institute on active research projects, wrote Lamb.

Cropped image of 2021-22 Annual Report cover
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IWH 2020-21 annual report highlights Institute’s COVID-related research

Although we’re not yet out of the pandemic, we can begin to reflect on what workers and workplaces have been through, and what it means for the future of work. The IWH 2020-21 annual report, titled Taking Stock, describes the Institute’s research related to COVID-19 at the work-health interface. It also describes the Institute’s research into health, safety and disability issues that were important before the onset of COVID-19 and remain so today.

A group of people around a table, brainstorming
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IWH Speaker Series: What the future of work looks like to young people with disabilities

What do young adults with disabilities think about when they weigh their job options and consider their career goals in the future of work? In an IWH Speaker Series presentation on December 14, Institute Scientist Dr. Arif Jetha shares findings from his study on this question. He also discusses the supports young adults with disabilities need to face the challenges of a changing labour market and take advantage of its potential opportunities.

People with various disabilities at the office
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Estimating the economic benefits of a fully inclusive Canada

Despite progress to date, persons with disabilities still face discrimination and other barriers to full participation in society. They have lower employment rates, lower earnings, lower education attainment, higher poverty rates and higher health-care use. What would be the economic benefits if these barriers were removed? An IWH study set out to estimate the economic benefits of a fully inclusive Canada.

Cover image of At Work 106
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Get your Winter 2021 issue of At Work

The latest issue of At Work is now out. In it you'll find: a round-up of five takeaways from the XXII World Congress on Safety and Health at Work; summaries of our research on unemployment benefits and long-term death rates, psychosocial conditions and the link to burnout and stress; and findings from studies on COVID-19 spread at work, and the preventive measures workplaces had in place.

A worker slumps over in fatigue and defeat, next to an angry boss and a desk piled high with work
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Burnout, stress risk increases greatly when psychosocial work conditions are bad overall

For one in 10 Canadian workers, the psychosocial work environment is poor across the board. They lack job security, have unmanageable workloads, receive little supervisor support, and so on. What’s more, their working conditions are associated with a substantial increase in risk of burnout and stress—seven and nine times greater risk, respectively, than among workers with good psychosocial working conditions. This is according to a new study by the Institute for Work & Health (IWH) and the Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW).

 

A cropped selection of an infographic on RTW differences between mental and physical injuries
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New infographic underlines key RTW differences between mental, physical injuries

Much of what we know about the return-to-work (RTW) process is based on workers’ compensation claims involving physical injuries. For people with mental health claims, the picture is very different. A new IWH infographic points out key disparities based on research conducted by the Institute.

A line drawing of a male figure slumped in a chair, head in hand
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Webinar: Charting the long-term financial hit of having depression

How much of an impact can a depressive episode have on someone’s work earnings? IWH Associate Scientist Dr. Kathleen Dobson has conducted a study to answer this question. On November 9, she shares findings from her novel study in an IWH Speaker Series presentation.

 

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.

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.