What's new

Two women sharing a confidence at work
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Why people decide to disclose an episodic disability at work—and how that matters

Some of the most common chronic health conditions are episodic and invisible. As a result, people living with them often grapple with the complex decision of whether to tell their employers about their disability. A new study, led by IWH Senior Scientist Dr. Monique Gignac, looks at people’s reasons for disclosing or not. The findings shed light on how people’s reasons matter to the work support they subsequently receive.

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.

Season's Greetings from Institute for Work and Health
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Season’s Greetings from all of us at IWH

With the approach of a holiday season like no other, we at the Institute for Work & Health (IWH) send you our very best wishes. It has been quite a year. More than ever, we look back on it and forward to the next with the utmost appreciation for your support and commitment to safe work and healthy workers.

A gloved hand holds a plastic COVID-19 test
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Rapid antigen detection testing a potential game-changer

Rapid antigen detection tests can play an important role in the next phase of Canada’s COVID-19 response. With a convenience that some have likened to that of home pregnancy tests, these rapid tests can be used in workplace settings—foremost for repeated testing in high-risk workplaces such as long-term care homes, food manufacturing facilities and correctional institutions, writes IWH President Dr. Cam Mustard.

Cover image of Annual Report 2019-20
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IWH 2019/20 annual report looks at the Institute’s COVID pivot

In March 2020, when the World Health Organization declared the global outbreak of COVID-19 a pandemic, the very thing we study at IWH—the intersection between work and health—changed dramatically. The 2019/20 annual report, now out, looks at how IWH pivoted to address this disruption by adapting research in progress to include a COVID-19 lens, and by working with collaborators to conduct new research related to the effects of the new coronavirus.

Illustration taken from the tool
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Working with a rheumatic disease: a new tool for young people

Young people with rheumatic health conditions such as juvenile arthritis or lupus face unique challenges as they begin their working lives. A new tool is now available to help them navigate these challenges. "Working with a rheumatic disease" is an interactive tool designed to help young people identify potential challenges and find information and trusted resources to overcome them. It was developed by the Institute for Work & Health with support from Cassie + Friends and funding from the Centre for Research on Work Disability Policy.

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.

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Now accepting applications for the Mustard and Syme fellowships

Two fellowship programs at the Institute for Work & Health are now accepting applications. The post-doctoral Mustard Fellowship in Work and Health, a two-year appointment for researchers at the post-doctoral level, is open until Friday, December 4. Applications are also being accepted for the S. Leonard Syme Training Fellowship in Work and Health, aimed at early-career researchers at the master's or doctoral level. The deadline for this program is Friday, November 27. Details on submission criteria are on our Opportunities page.