Document directory

Infographic
Institute for Work & Health
From 2018 to 2021, the Institute for Work & Health is conducting a yearly survey of Canadian workers about cannabis. The aim is to understand how the legalization of non-medical cannabis is affecting workers’ cannabis use and beliefs about use. This infographic highlights some of what we learned in our first comparison of pre- and post-legalization findings, based on the first and second surveys.
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Research Highlights
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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Research Highlights
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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Research Highlights
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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Accomplishments Report
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Research Highlights
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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5 Things We Think You Should Know
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Sharing Best Evidence
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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Research Highlights
Over a 12-year-period, Canadians whose jobs became more physically or mentally demanding became slightly less likely to exercise more. They were also slightly less likely to exercise more when working long hours or working in jobs that offered them little say in how to use their skills.
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Research Highlights
Among workers with a compensation claim for a work-related musculoskeletal injury, 30 per cent also experience a serious mental condition. However, a minority of these workers receive treatment for their mental health conditions, according to an IWH study conducted in Australia.
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Research Highlights
Ride-share drivers face physical and mental health risks that are not only similar to, but also distinct from, those of taxi drivers. Beyond the risks experienced by taxi drivers, ride-share drivers face stressors unique to this form of work.
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Research Highlights
Communication barriers between health-care providers and case managers appear to stem from differences in communication styles, professional priorities and philosophical perspectives about the timing and appropriateness of return to work. Barriers exist even among practitioners of different health disciplines.
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Miscellaneous
Institute for Work & Health
The Institute’s full set of policies and practices with respect to protecting the privacy of individuals and the confidentiality of personal information are set out in this handbook, revised in March 2020.
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Activity Plan
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Sharing Best Evidence
This update of a previous systematic review sets out to find workplace-based interventions that are effective in helping workers with musculoskeletal, pain-related and/or mental health conditions return to work.
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Annual Report
What Research Can Do: The Institute for Work & Health's 2018/19 Annual Report
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Tools and guides
This toolkit contains everything needed to deliver instructional sessions to newcomers in Ontario on their occupational health and safety (OHS) and workers' compensation rights and responsibilities.
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Impact case study
IWH senior scientists presented expert testimony to a federal standing committee looking at the needs of people with episodic disabilities—an example of how research can support policy-makers in addressing important societal issues.
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Infographic
Institute for Work & Health
From 2018 to 2021, the Institute for Work & Health is conducting a yearly survey of Canadian workers about cannabis to understand how the legalization of non-medical cannabis in October 2018 is affecting workers’ cannabis use, and affecting the beliefs of both users and non-users about cannabis use at work. The first survey was conducted in June 2018, before the legalization of non-medical cannabis four months later. This infographic shares some of what was learned.
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Research Highlights
Workers with arthritis and diabetes, despite their health difficulties, have similar retirement plans as their healthy peers. Yet workers with chronic conditions are more likely than their healthy peers to report having retired previously and returned to work, often in part-time positions.
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Research Highlights
Workplace health and safety leaders use benchmarking reports on health and safety performance to help inform decision-making and improve occupational health and safety performance. That's according to an interview-based study of OHS leaders who took part in an IWH leading indicators research project.
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Accomplishments Report
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Research Highlights
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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Research Highlights
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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Research Highlights
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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Research Highlights
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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5 Things We Think You Should Know
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Tools and guides
This resource synthesizes the research evidence on the practical solutions that workplaces can implement (in conjunction with workers' compensation, insurance and health-care authorities) to support the return to work of employees with musculoskeletal disorders or mental health conditions.
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5 Things We Think You Should Know
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Project report
Robson LS, Mustard C
The Institute for Work & Health shares the findings from its evaluation of the implementation and effectiveness of a mandatory working-at-heights training program introduced in Ontario in 2015. Ontario employers were required to ensure that workers on construction projects who worked at heights had successfully completed the training by October 2017.
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Project report
Robson LS, Mustard C
This summary shares the highlights from an Institute for Work & Health evaluation of the implementation and effectiveness of a mandatory working-at-heights training program introduced in Ontario in 2015. Ontario employers were required to ensure that workers on construction projects who worked at heights had successfully completed the training by October 2017.
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Activity Plan
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Impact case study
The findings of an Institute for Work & Health systematic review on the association between osteoarthritis and work are being used by WorkSafeBC's medical advisors, contributing to more consistency in claims adjudication.
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Impact case study
A tool designed to measure "two sides of the coin"—OHS systems and culture—developed by Workplace Safety North with IWH expertise, has been endorsed by Ontario's mining association, and now is in demand well beyond the province and the sector.
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Strategic Plan
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Annual Report
The Big Issues: The Institute for Work & Health's 2017 Annual Report
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Impact case study
An occupational medicine assessment service integrated two of the return-to-work supports (enhanced coordination and communication) outlined in IWH's evidence-based Seven Principles guide, contributing to a significant improvement in the duration of wage replacement benefits among injured workers with problematic musculoskeletal disorders.
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Impact case study
SAFE Work Manitoba incorporated IWH expertise and tools into the framework of its ambitious safety culture initiative, which aims to make workplace injury prevention a genuine priority among all segments of the population across the province.
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Issue Briefing
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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Research Highlights
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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Research Highlights
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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Research Highlights
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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Research Highlights
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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Accomplishments Report
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5 Things We Think You Should Know
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Tools and guides
This guide, based on a research collaboration led by the Institute for Work & Health, provides an overview of the process involved in modifying the curriculum of an existing occupational health and safety (OHS) training program in order to address gaps in essential skills among worker trainees.
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Tools and guides
This evidence-based guide is designed for anyone in the workplace who supports workers with depression as they cope with their symptoms while working, or when they are returning to work following an episode of depression.
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Impact case study
An IWH study estimating the lifetime cost of newly diagnosed cases of mesothelioma and lung cancer due to work-related asbestos exposures in a single year garnered much media and public interest, and was cited by Canadian government in its analysis of the impact of its regulation banning asbestos.
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Project report
Kosny A, Yanar B, Begum M, Al-khooly D, Premji S, Lay M, Smith PM
This report details the findings of an Institute for Work & Health study on employment preparation process of newcomers in Ontario, with the aim of determining key training and resource needs and opportunities related to safely integrating recent immigrants and refugees into the labour market.
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Project report
Kosny A, Tonima S, Ferron EM, Mustard C, Robson LS, Gignac MA, Chambers A, Hajee Y
This report details the findings of an Institute for Work & Health study that looked at acute-care hospitals in Ontario and how they implemented legislated violence prevention initiatives, to what effect, and the challenges they faced along the way.
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