OHS regulation and enforcement

The regulator’s role in setting and enforcing the adoption of basic standards is fundamentally important to ensuring the health, safety and fair treatment of workers and the productivity of workplaces. Therefore, it’s important for occupational health and safety (OHS) systems to know what will best achieve this. The Institute for Work & Health (IWH) conducts a wide range of research to help labour ministries, workers' compensation boards and other regulatory bodies (and those affected by them) understand where their limited time and money will be most effectively allocated to achieve fewer work-related injuries and illnesses.

Latest news and findings

Workplace inspectors inspecting a workplace during COVID, as indicated by the masks they are wearing

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.  

Read the Issue Briefing
Fracking rig workers in BC climb tower

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.

Go to the event page
Masked restaurant worker prepares take-out food orders

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.

Read the Issue Briefing
Illustration of three workers, two of whom are smoking

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.

Download the infographic
Logo for World Congress COVID-19 and occupational safety and health digital meeting in October 2020

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.

Register now