What's new

A man and a woman work together to push a trolley through a warehouse
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New review sums up sex/gender differences in work injury and illness outcomes

Men and women may be part of the labour force in roughly equal proportions. But many jobs and industries are still dominated by one sex/gender or another. In that light, a new systematic review at IWH looks at how work exposures and injury/illness outcomes are different for men and women.

13 colourful cardboards, each with a question mark cut-out in the middle, overlap each other in a pile
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Widely used survey unable to isolate specific psychosocial work dimensions

Guarding Minds @ Work is a widely used survey designed to measure 13 psychosocial dimensions of the work environment that have the potential to affect worker mental health. However, a joint study by the Institute for Work & Health and Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers finds the survey unable to measure each of the 13 dimensions in isolation. This has implications for workplaces that use the measure to assess how well they are doing on specific psychosocial dimensions, such as workforce civility and respect, workload management and more, says the research team.

Wooden block letters spelling out R O I, with colourful arrows pointing to them
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New policy briefing: estimating the ROI of OHS spending

What’s the return-on-investment (ROI) for every dollar employers spend on occupational health and safety? A team at IWH has come up with an estimate for three Ontario sectors—manufacturing, construction and transportation—based on previous research and on Workplace Safety and Insurance Board data.

Cover image of At Work 108 (Spring 2022)
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The Spring issue of At Work is out!

In this issue:  

Higher injury risk linked to cannabis use at or before work, but not to cannabis use off-work

How government funding can best support the employment of persons with disabilities

Widely used survey lacks ability to distinctly measure the 13 factors of the psychosocial work environment

And more....

Four icons depicting a head, a heart, a group of people and buildings
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IWH team wins inclusive design competition for job accommodation and support tool

A team led by Institute for Work & Health (IWH) Senior Scientist Dr. Monique Gignac has been announced first place winner in a competition called Inclusive Design Challenge: Support at Work. The competition, the second of the MaRS Innovation Challenges series and co-sponsored by CIBC, is aimed at finding solutions that improve support at work for persons with disabilities. 

The ACED project team (short for Accommodating and Communicating about Episodic Disabilities) won the competition for its Job Demands and Accommodation Planning Tool. It's designed to help people think about the workplace supports they need when they live with a chronic health condition that can cause challenges. Recruiting is underway to test the tool. 

A poster with five scenes from the handout. The title reads: "5 things we think you should know."
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5 things we think you should know in 2022

Five practical messages you can take away from IWH research over the past year. That’s the idea behind our annual handout, 5 Things We Think You Should Know, created especially for occupational health and safety practitioners and stakeholders. Find out what the 2022 messages are.

Colourful gears and various icons depict multiple connections within a system
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IWH now hiring for Director, Strategic Relations

The Institute is looking for a Director, Strategic Relations. This individual will work with IWH’s executive team to amplify the Institute’s provincial, national and international presence, broaden research audiences, and promote diversity among research and stakeholder groups. The individual will also identify opportunities for IWH expertise to contribute to the development of policies, programs and resources at the provincial and federal levels—and particularly within Ontario’s prevention system.

A young woman looks at her phone in frustration and exasperation
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Poor interaction with case managers raises risk of distress, Ontario study finds

Injured workers who report having poor interactions with case managers during the workers’ compensation claims process face a higher risk of developing serious or elevated psychological distress later on. That’s according to a recent IWH study that followed a group of Ontario claimants 18 months after their injury.

Excellence written on road way
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WSIB Health & Safety Excellence Program makes use of IWH safety culture measure

A version of the IWH-Organizational Performance Metric (IWH-OPM) is used by Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) to let workplaces in its Health and Safety Excellence Program measure their safety culture against a benchmark. The measure also allows the compensation agency to track trends in safety culture over time among participating organizations.

A long-term care worker pushes a resident in a wheelchair down the hall
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Participatory ergonomics a sustainable OHS approach in long-term care

Frontline workers know better than anyone what musculoskeletal (MSD) hazards they encounter on the job—and how to solve them. Participatory ergonomics is an occupational health and safety (OHS) approach that puts worker involvement front and centre. An IWH study led by Scientist Dr. Dwayne Van Eerd found this approach can be successfully implemented and sustained—even in busy long-term care facilities challenged by staff shortages and high turnover.