Document directory

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
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
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
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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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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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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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
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
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
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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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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5 Things We Think You Should Know
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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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Activity Plan
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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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Impact case study
Organizations working with recent immigrants are incorporating parts of the Institute's toolkit for teaching newcomers about workplace health and safety into their programming. Organizations in Ontario, Alberta, Northwest Territories and Nunavut, and even as far away as Australia, say the resource is just what they were looking for.
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Impact case study
An Ontario health and safety association, Workplace Safety and Prevention Services, turned to the Institute's model of breakthrough change to inform its approach to small business, especially the concept of finding the "knowledge transformation leader" within a small business to advocate for occupational health and safety change.
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Impact case study
When the World Health Organization released its evidence-based guideline to help primarily low- and middle-income countries develop, extend equitably deliver rehabilitation services, it relied on evidence synthesized by an IWH research team for five of the guideline's nine recommendations.
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KTE resources
Saunders R
This 2017 presentation outlines the Institute's theory and practice of knowledge transfer and exchange. It's an integrated approach, featuring stakeholder engagement and communications functions under one umbrella within the organization.
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Impact case study
When Ontario legislated in 1997 that employers and workers cooperate in the early and safe return to work of injured workers, the workplace parties were looking for guidance. They found it in the Institute for Work & Health's evidence-based Seven "Principles" for Successful Return to Work, one of the most popular and widely used guides developed by the Institute.
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Project report
Kosny A, Tonima S, Ferron EM, Mustard C, Robson LS, Gignac MA, Chambers A
This two-page summary shares the highlights 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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Research Highlights
Workers who predominantly stand on the job are at greater risk of heart disease than workers who predominantly sit. Workplace prevention efforts should target excessive standing, as well as excessive sitting, to protect the cardiovascular health of workers.
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Annual Report
Supporting Change in Workplaces: The Institute for Work & Health's 2016 Annual Report
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Research Highlights
Workers with disabilities are more likely to be exposed to hazards at work than other workers, and are more likely to experience vulnerability due to inadequate measures to mitigate those hazards.
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5 Things We Think You Should Know
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Project report
Irvin E, Cullen KL, Van Eerd D, Saunders R, Johnson L, Bornstein S, Butt A
This report provides a synthesis of the relevant research-based evidence on managing depression for the adult working population of Manitoba. The synthesis is based on an international search of the literature, and the findings were then contexualized for Manitoba based on an approach developed by the Institute for Work & Health and Memorial University's SafetyNet Centre for Occupational Health and Safety Research.
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Tools and guides
This handbook, the product of a research collaboration between the Institute for Work & Health and Memorial University’s SafetyNet Centre for Occupational Health and Safety Research, can be used by occupational health, safety and disability prevention stakeholders seeking to improve policy and/or practice by contextualizing the results of a research synthesis (e.g. a systematic review) to their particular situation (e.g. particular jurisdiction, sector or workplace).
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Systematic Review
Cullen KL, Irvin E, Gensby U, Jennings P, Hogg-Johnson S, Kristman V, Laberge M, McKenzie D, Newnam S, Shourie S, Steenstra I, Van Eerd D, Amick B
This report synthesizes the evidence from a systematic review on the effectiveness of workplace-based return-to-work interventions and updates the Institute's 2004 systematic review on the same subject. This update brings in evidence published since 2004, and expands upon the original systematic review by including work absences due not only to musculoskeletal disorders, but also to mental health and pain-related conditions.
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Project report
Mustard C, Lay M, Landsman V
IWH, in collaboration with Workplace Safety North, piloted a workplace questionnaire to measure perceptions of practices related to the internal responsibility system in Ontario's mining sector. This February 2017 presentation provides an overview of the development of the instrument, called the Internal Responsibility System Climate Assessment and Audit Tool (IRS CAAT), and the psychometric analysis of that instrument at four mining operations.
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Product guide
This guide to IWH resources points occupational health and safety, disablity management and rehabilitation practitioners to tools, guides and other information products from IWH that can help ensure evidence-based information is incorporated into policies and practices to prevent work injury, illness and disability.
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Product guide
This guide to IWH resources points post-secondary students and instructors in occupational health and safety, disability management and/or work injury rehablitation to tools, guides and other information products from IWH that can help ensure evidence-based information is incorporated into research projects, essays, presentations, lessons and lectures.
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Product guide
This guide to IWH resources points ergonomists, kinesiologists and other workplace musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) prevention specialists to tools, guides and information products from IWH that can help ensure evidence-based information is incorporated into MSD prevention policies and practices.
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Accomplishments Report
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Activity Plan
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Research Highlights
The differing levels of work activity limitations among women and men are explained by the different chronic conditions they are likely to have and the different physical demands they are likely to face on the job.
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Tools and guides
This guide provides simple explanations of over 35 common research terms used in the health and social sciences to help users of research better understand what scientists mean when they report their findings.
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Project report
Kosny A, Lifshen M, Tonima S, Yanar B, Russell E, MacEachen E, Neis B, Koehoorn M, Beaton DE, Furlan AD, Cooper J
Health-care providers play an important role in the return to work of injured workers, yet research suggests they sometimes struggle with this responsibility. This executive summary provides an overview of the findings of a study on health-care providers' experiences in return to work and in working with workers' compensation systems.
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