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.

Three construction workers smile for the camera
At Work article

Union firms have lower lost-time claim rates, study in ICI construction confirms

Study update by Institute for Work & Health backs up 2015 findings of ‘union safety effect’ in Ontario’s industrial, commercial and institutional (ICI) construction sector
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A man holding his back
At Work article

Cochrane back group earns high praise for its rigorous systematic reviews

Cochrane Back and Neck, housed at IWH until this year, has repeatedly ranked high in quality assessments and measures of impact
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A map of the world, overlaid by arcs connecting cities to one another
At Work article

COVID-19: Challenges and opportunities in OHS and social security highlighted at global session

Despite diverse experiences, participants also raised common concerns at virtual global conference co-hosted by IWH and CCOHS
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A worker wearing an apron and a cloth facial mask
At Work article

Adequacy of COVID infection control and PPE linked to workers’ mental health: study

Study conducted at the start of the COVID-19 emergency finds workers who felt safe at their physical worksites had better mental health than workers who felt workplace COVID-19 safety practices were inadequate
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Monochrome splatter painting of a woman in distress
At Work article

Depressive symptoms in people with arthritis linked to lower employment rates

Consistent patterns of work disability found among people with both arthritis and depressive symptoms, in nationally representative U.S. sample
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Monochrome splatter painting of a woman in distress
Research Highlights

Depression and work among adults with arthritis

About 13 per cent of working-age people in the U.S. who have arthritis also experience depressive symptoms. Having both arthritis and depressive symptoms lowers the likelihood of working. For people aged 35 to 54, having depressive symptoms in addition to arthritis lowers the likelihood of working by 17 per cent.
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Paper cutouts of faces in profile
At Work article

Socioeconomic gaps in early mortality widening over two decades: study

Despite overall decline, early death rate differences have widened between people with high and low income and education
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A lone roofing worker sits perched on top of a new being built
Research Highlights

Evaluating the effectiveness of mandatory working-at-heights training standards

The introduction of a mandatory training standard for construction workers using fall protection equipment is associated with a 19.6 per cent reduction in the incidence rate of lost-time claims due to falls targeted by the intervention. This decline is larger than an overall decline in injuries in the sector during the same time frame. Reductions in incidence rates are also largest among the smallest employers.
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A blurry image of people at work
Research Highlights

Employer perspectives on communication challenges when supporting episodic disabilities

Supporting people with episodic health conditions can be challenging from organizational perspectives. The challenges stem from the need to provide accommodation and support while respecting workers’ right to privacy, and to respond to unpredictable periods of disability while ensuring work units meet productivity demands.
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Construction equipment amid dusk and haze
At Work article

Comparing the costs, benefits of silica dust prevention methods for construction workers

IWH economic analysis recommends a combination of methods to reduce silica dust exposure
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A blurry image of people at work
At Work article

Workplaces face many complex challenges when managing episodic disabilities: study

In interviews with IWH, employers describe difficulties supporting workers with invisible, recurring health conditions while respecting their privacy
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A woman with a bandaged left arm fills out injury claim form
At Work article

Workers exposed to common hazards more likely to report their injuries: IWH study

Study conducted in B.C., Alberta, Ontario found injury reporting linked to hazard exposure and OHS awareness
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Blurry image of health-care workers running
At Work article

Understanding challenges in hospitals’ workplace violence reporting systems

Institute for Work & Health study on workplace violence reporting in health care examines reasons why incidents are not disclosed
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A vista of a small town in British Columbia
Research Highlights

Urban-rural differences in work disability duration

People who live in more remote areas have more disability days following a work-related injury than people who live in large cities. However, there are exceptions to that pattern. Disability days are highest in the most remote rural areas. But they're second highest in the least remote rural areas, where at least 30 per cent of workers commute to an urban centre.
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A man kneels as he works with decking boards on a patio
Sharing Best Evidence

Work activities and the development of osteoarthritis in men and women

A systematic review by the Institute for Work & Health finds strong and moderate evidence that work exposures—including lifting, cumulative physical loads, full-body vibration and kneeling/squatting/bending—can increase the risks of osteoarthritis in men and women. No increased risk was found for sitting, standing and walking (hip and knee osteoarthritis); lifting and carrying (knee osteoarthritis); climbing ladders (knee osteoarthritis); driving (knee osteoarthritis); and highly repetitive tasks (hand osteoarthritis).
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A health-care worker wearing a face mask and body covering
At Work article

Anxiety levels among health-care workers during COVID-19 linked to inadequate PPE

Study by OHCOW, with IWH support, draws on survey of 4,000 workers during April 2020
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A roomful of people listen intently to workshop presenter
At Work article

Supporting settlement agencies to raise OHS awareness among newcomers

A collaboration involving IWH highlights need to fill important knowledge gap in the settlement services sector
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