Plain-language summaries

Institute for Work & Health (IWH) plain-language summaries condense research findings in various formats. At Work articles explain study results with comments from the study leads. Research Highlights summarize journal articles in easy-to-read, digest formats. Sharing Best Evidence summaries highlight findings from systematic reviews and other types of reviews conducted or led by IWH researchers. Issue Briefings discuss key research findings from IWH or elsewhere on topics that are of particular interest to policy-makers.

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

Response to COVID-19: Gathering experiences of OHS authorities in developed countries

In early 2021, a group of researchers led by IWH President Dr. Cameron Mustard asked authorities responsible for occupational health and safety (OHS) in developed countries how they had, to date, addressed the COVID-19 challenge. This Issue Briefing shares what the researchers learned.
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Vector of masked workers standing in front of workplaces with coronovirus surrounding them, implying impact of COVID on workers
At Work article

What research can do: Partnering on a tool to estimate occupational risks of COVID

Public Health Ontario and Institute for Work & Health collaborate to answer emerging research questions
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A worker bends over, cutting paving stones in a landscaping job
At Work article

Inadequate employment standards, OHS vulnerability add to higher injury risks

IWH study finds injury risks increased five-fold when both types of work vulnerability were present
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A masked worker riding a bus
At Work article

COVID worries highest among workers with both physical, mental health disabilities

Greater concerns among workers with disabilities stem from their work conditions, not disability status
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Two men lift heavy furniture off a truck
At Work article

Emerging evidence points to negative health effects of physical work demands

Findings on ‘physical activity paradox’ suggest need for more warm-ups, work breaks for labourers: scientist
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View from the back of a man in a suit in an urban street
At Work article

Unemployment benefits linked to lower mortality rates over 10 years: IWH study

Study finds jobless people with income support have 25 per cent lower death rates than those without
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A masked young woman works at a hotel reception desk
At Work article

Education, type of work lessen pandemic job loss in youths with rheumatic diseases

Follow-up study finds employment dropped by 72 per cent when all factors are taken into account
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Silhouettes of cranberries harvest workers in the light of a sunrise
At Work article

Claim suppression study in B.C. finds under-claiming of work injury to be common

Joint study by Institute for Work & Health and Prism Economics and Analysis also finds employer pressure, inducement not to claim seen in four to 13 per cent of work injuries

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female factory worker sitting on floor with tools, looking worried about what to do
At Work article

Weaker OHS procedures, policies explain small employers’ higher injury risks: study

No difference in injury risks between large, small firms once OHS policies, procedures accounted for
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Silhouettes of cranberries harvest workers in the light of a sunrise
Issue Briefing

Nature and extent of claim suppression in B.C.’s workers’ compensation system

The Institute for Work & Health collaborated with Prism Economics and Analysis to conduct a study for WorkSafeBC on claim suppression in British Columbia. This Issue Briefing summarizes the findings of this study and compares them with the findings of previous Institute studies on claim suppression in Manitoba and Ontario, as well as with the findings of other research in Canada.
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Silhouettes of construction workers against an orange sky
At Work article

Costs of providing UV ray protection at job sites outweighed by averted skin cancers

IWH economic analysis in Ontario finds net gain over 30 years when protective clothing, shade structures used to reduce skin cancer risk in construction workers
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The back of a male worker, hauling a load in a warehouse setting
Research Highlights

Examining the link between leisure-time exercise and physically demanding work on diabetes risk

Workers in sedentary jobs who meet physical activity guidelines of at least 150 minutes a week have a 37 per cent lower chance of developing diabetes over 15 years, compared to people in the same types of jobs but who do less exercise. Meeting physical activity guidelines is less beneficial for people whose jobs involve movement or high physical demands (such as lifting heavy loads).
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An illustration of young people helping each other climb out of a mountain crevice
At Work article

Nine trends that will likely shape future of work for groups of vulnerable workers

IWH research team conducts ‘horizon scan’ to identify major changes to come, and what they may mean for people currently facing labour market barriers
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A line drawing of a male figure slumped in a chair, head in hand
At Work article

Having depression leads to lower earnings over 10 years: study

Study by IWH researcher finds 10-year earning loss amounts to $115,000 for men and $71,000 for women
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A woman works at a laundry service
At Work article

Precarity more likely for older, new workers with disabilities

Higher likelihood of precarity in older workers with disabilities somewhat of a surprise, says study lead
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Masked restaurant worker prepares take-out food orders
At Work article

What research can do: Workplace COVID outbreaks reported by Ontario public health account for one in 20 cases in working-age adults

Figure of five per cent attributed to workplace outbreaks does not include outbreak-related cases in health-care, congregate living, education and recreation settings
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A pair of hands roll a cannabis joint
At Work article

At-work cannabis use linked to work factors, including some not expected: IWH study

Work characteristics linked to on-the-job consumption include lower job visibility, less chance of detection but also safety-sensitive or supervisory roles
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A woman works at a laundry service
Research Highlights

Is precarious work more prevalent for people with disabilities? The role of age and job tenure

Workers with disabilities are no more likely than those without to work in precarious jobs. However, some subsets of people with disabilities are more likely to work in precarious jobs—older people or people with shorter job tenure. Contrary to expectation, younger people with disabilities are not more likely than older people with disabilities to have precarious jobs. Among people with and without disabilities, having better health is linked to a lower likelihood of working in precarious jobs.
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Two women sharing a confidence at work
At Work article

People’s reasons for disclosing episodic disabilities linked to support they receive

IWH study examines the link between reasons for disclosing health conditions and outcomes of disclosure
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Masked restaurant worker prepares take-out food orders
Issue Briefing

Incidence of COVID-19 transmission in Ontario workplaces

As the incidence of diagnosed cases escalates in the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Ontario, it is important to understand the degree to which employment in the essential service sectors represents an increased risk of infection. This Issue Briefing examines what the available data says about the role of workplaces in COVID-19 transmission in Ontario, the relative contribution of workplace outbreaks to case numbers, and current information gaps at the population level.
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