5 Things We Think You Should Know 2022

5 things we think you should know 2022 cover image
Download PDF(569.25 KB)

Published: May 2022

Two contrasting illustrations, showing a woman smoking at dinner and a man smoking next to a laptop

Using cannabis at or just before work is associated with an increased risk of work injury

Workers who use cannabis at or just before work are twice as likely as workers who haven’t used cannabis at all in the past year to report being injured at work in the previous 12 months. However, workers who use cannabis in their leisure time (i.e. not at or before work) are no more likely than workers who haven’t used cannabis in the past year to report a work injury.

One person consoles another with a hand on the other person's back

The 10 per cent of Canadian workers with consistently poor psychosocial work conditions face a much higher risk of burnout and stress

One in 10 Canadian workers face psychosocial conditions that are poor across the board. That is, they negatively rate their jobs across psychosocial work factors like job demands; job control and meaning; co-worker and supervisor support; job security; and justice, trust and rewards. These workers are 7.5 times more likely to report burnout and 9.0 times more likely to report stress than the 20 per cent of workers who give the best scores to their psychosocial work conditions.

A woman slips backwards on some steps, her paper files flying

Workers without basic pay, sick days and other minimum job entitlements are at greater risk of work injury

People who report that their workplace fails to provide legislated employment minimums related to pay, meal breaks, paid sick days and paid vacation days are more likely to report being injured on the job. When these people also experience occupational health and safety (OHS) vulnerability (i.e. they’re exposed to work hazards without adequate protection), they are five times more likely to report an injury compared to people who don’t experience OHS vulnerability or inadequate employment standards at work.

One person rolls a chest-high ball forward, while another pushes a square block of the same size

Physically strenuous work does not necessarily bring the benefits of exercise to workers—and may even be bad for them

Emerging research shows an association between physically demanding work and health problems such as heart disease and diabetes—and even early death. Some call this association the “physical activity paradox” because it seems to run counter to the association between exercise and better health. However, physically demanding work, involving prolonged standing, heavy lifting, and awkward and static postures, is not the same as exercise or resistance training.

A worker in blue overalls and a yellow safety helmet stands on crutches, next to a doctor behind a desk

Over one-third of emergency department visits for a work-related injury don’t show up as workers’ compensation claims

About 35 to 40 per cent of emergency department visits for the treatment of work-related injuries or illnesses in Ontario don’t show up as compensation claims in the records of the province’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board. This degree of under-reporting is consistent with other research showing that between 40 and 60 per cent of potentially compensable conditions are typically not reported to provincial compensation authorities in Canada.