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.

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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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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