5 Things We Think You Should Know 2023

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Published: October 2023

Graphic of a man and two women among large images of safety equipment such as a list of regulations, a hard hat and a vest

Investing in occupational health and safety has positive financial and intangible benefits

For every dollar spent on worker health and safety, manufacturing employers in Ontario get back an estimated average of $1.24 in benefits. Those in construction get back $1.34, and those in transportation get back $2.14. Employers also report that returns on these investments include intangible benefits, such as improved employee satisfaction and morale, quality of work and corporate reputation.

A worker delivers health and safety training to two seated employees

Employers struggle to provide newcomers with occupational health and safety training

Workplaces face challenges delivering occupational health and safety (OHS) training to workers who are new to Canada. These challenges are particularly pronounced for smaller businesses. These often lack the capacity to deliver their workplace safety training in languages other than English. They may also lack adequate OHS policies and procedures or the support or resources to put them in place.

A worker sits hunched over at their desk with pain in their back

7 in 10 injured workers still experience pain more than a year after a work-related injury

In a study of lost-time workers’ compensation claimants in Ontario, 70 per cent said they continued to experience pain 18 months after a work-related injury. Of those interviewed, 45 per cent had mild pain, and 25 per cent had severe pain which impeded their ability to return to work.

A patient sits across a desk from a healthcare provider

Racial and ethnic inequities persist in the return-to-work process

Following a non-work-related injury or illness, non-white workers are less likely to return to work than white workers. That’s according to a review of the research to date on racial and ethnic inequities. Some evidence indicates that Black workers face particularly pronounced obstacles to returning to work

A construction worker moves a full wheelbarrow through a construction site

Workers doing vigorous, tiring activity all day no healthier than those who are least active

Canadian workers whose daily routines involve some movement have better heart health than those who are mostly sedentary at home and work. But there’s one exception. Workers who do vigorous physical activity throughout the workday—likely in physically demanding jobs—have the same heart disease risks over 10 years as the most sedentary.