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.

A group of office workers stand in rows, doing stretches
Research Highlights

Understanding the types of Ontario workplaces that offer both wellness and OHS programs

Most Ontario workplaces offer few wellness initiatives. The ones that offer a variety of wellness initiatives and have high-performing OHS programs tend to be large workplaces with people-oriented cultures.
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A close-up of scattered cigarettes
Research Highlights

Examining the link between working conditions and tobacco-smoking habits

People who work or have worked in physically demanding jobs are about twice as likely as people whose jobs are not physically demanding to be heavy smokers. Workers in jobs with low social support, low skill discretion and high psychological demands are also more likely than workers in healthier environments to be heavy smokers.
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A silhouette of two palms held upward, cupping the sun
Research Highlights

Psychosocial work conditions and mental health

Having positive mental health is not the same as having no mental illness. The two are related, but distinct, concepts. A study by IWH suggests that better psychosocial work conditions—greater job security, job control and social support—can have greater influence on one more than the other.
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A professional woman pushes an older person in a wheelchair in the outdoors
Research Highlights

Gender differences in the impact of eldercare on work

Women are much more likely than men to stop working, to work part time and to temporarily take time off work in order to care for an older relative. These differences are seen even after taking into account factors such as marital status, having children, hours of work, pay level, job tenure, and status as main wage earner in the household.
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Close-up image of shattered glass window
At Work article

Workplace violence against women rising, driven by growing rates in education sector

Risks of workplace violence for men in health care on the decline, now lower than risks for female educators
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A professional woman pushes an older person in a wheelchair in the outdoors
At Work article

Women’s work more likely than men’s to be disrupted due to caring for older relatives

IWH study finds women 73 per cent more likely than men to permanently leave a job due to eldercare
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A lone roofing worker sits perched on top of a new being built
At Work article

Ontario’s working-at-heights training led to safer practices, reduced injury claims rates

Institute for Work & Health’s multi-part evaluation of province’s mandatory training standard found claims reduction greatest among small employers and high-risk construction subsectors
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A tired worker holds her head in her hands as she sits at her desk in a dark office
At Work article

Boomers with and without chronic conditions have similar needs for workplace supports

IWH study of older workers finds those in good health similar to those with arthritis or diabetes in using—and benefiting from—programs such as flex-time and telework
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A young woman sits in front of the desk of an older man in a suit and tie, both smiling
At Work article

Supported job placements help young adults with disabilities find work: review

IWH systematic review finds strong evidence for job placements offered with personalized coaching
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Two workers in safety vests, in a factory environment, point to something offscreen
At Work article

Supportive supervisors help reduce risks when workers face hazards, lack protection

Study examining Institute for Work & Health’s OHS vulnerability framework finds supervisor support can lower injury risks for workers reporting hazards and inadequate protection
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Chalk drawings of three emojis on a blackboard
At Work article

Slight improvements seen in workplace psychosocial conditions over 10 years

IWH analysis of Statistics Canada surveys from 2002 and 2012 finds better scores on job security and co-worker and supervisor support
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A man looks at a blackboard with chalk written money symbols and question marks
At Work article

Calculating the costs of employers’ work-related injury prevention efforts in Ontario

New IWH Issue Briefing lays out estimates of employer spending on worker health and safety in 17 sectors
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A homeless young man sits on the ground, in a tunnel
At Work article

IWH review outlines promising strategies to prevent prescribed opioid abuse

Research synthesis by Institute for Work & Health examines programs and policies aimed at reducing the misuse and abuse of prescription opioids and preventing overdose deaths
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A man looks at a blackboard with chalk written money symbols and question marks
Issue Briefing

What do employers spend to protect the health and safety of workers?

While the financial costs of work-related injury and illness are well known, limited information is available on what employers spend to control or eliminate the causes of work-related injury and illness. This Issue Briefing describes the results of a 2017 study to estimate occupational health and safety expenditures among employers from 17 economic sectors in Ontario, Canada.
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Man in red shirt jogs in a park adjacent to an office building
Research Highlights

Facilities near or at work and off-hours exercise levels

Three in four working Canadians have access near or at their work to a gym, a sports field, a pleasant place to walk, a fitness program, an organized sports team, a health promotion program or a shower/change room. Leisure-time exercise levels are highest for workers with access to all the above. They are twice as likely to exercise in their off-hours as workers with access to none of these.
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Three mature women look at camera
Research Highlights

OHS vulnerability among new immigrants

Recent immigrant workers are 1.6 times more likely than Canadian-born workers to experience occupational health and safety (OHS) vulnerability, defined as exposure to hazards without adequate protection to mitigate those hazards.
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A young woman rests her head in her palm, eyes closed
Research Highlights

How workplace support needs differ for younger and older adults with chronic disease

When it comes to workplace supports, people with chronic disease have similar needs, even at different ages and career stages. However, young people face unique challenges related to accessing workplace supports, including a lack of available workplace resources and difficulty overcoming preconceptions around youth and chronic conditions.
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A black and white image of a rope fraying
Research Highlights

Gender differences in the link between psychosocial work exposures and stress

Women’s and men's stress levels are affected differently by psychosocial work exposures such as supervisor or co-worker support, job control, job demand and job insecurity.
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A black and white image of a rope fraying
At Work article

Sex/gender analysis: Links between psychosocial work factors and stress not always as expected

IWH study examines differences between men and women when it comes to the links between stress and psychosocial work factors such as supervisor support, job control and job security
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Investigators working behind crime-scene yellow tape
At Work article

Sex/gender analysis: Are risks of violence at work higher for men or women? It depends on type of violence

Men and women face similar risks of physical violence at work, but the risks of sexual violence at work are four times higher for women
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