Document directory

Systematic Review
Tompa E, Dolinschi R, de Oliveira C, Irvin E
Before employers invest in workplace health and safety interventions, they want to know the financial implications of their investment. The goal of this review was to explore whether such interventions are worthwhile from an economic point of view. To find an answer, the Institute for Work & Health conducted a systematic review of studies of workplace-based health and safety interventions that also had an economic analysis. This review, as outlined in this final report, sought to answer the following question: What is the credible evidence that incremental investment in health and safety is worth undertaking?
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Systematic Review
Tompa E, Dolinschi R, de Oliveira C, Irvin E
This report includes appendices to the systematic review of OHS interventions with economic evaluations.
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Research Highlights
A portion of health-care costs among injured sawmill workers in British Columbia are not reimbursed by the provincial workers' compensation agency, suggesting that prevention efforts could target the more costly injuries to reduce hospital costs.
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Research Highlights
Rehabilitation programs such as fitness training, exercises and weight training are no better than the usual care to help patients recover from whiplash.
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Research Highlights
Too much health care too early after a whiplash injury has a negative affect on a patient's recovery, a study finds. It confirms that the results of an earlier study are not due to chance.
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Research Highlights
Compared to trainees, practising chiropractors use radiography more often. Reasons include attendance at seminars or courses encouraging radiography use, financial pressures or fear of malpractice.
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Research Highlights
Young workers view workplace injuries as "part of the job," particularly when the injuries don't require medical attention, study finds. Furthermore, these workers generally don't think these less severe injuries are of interest to their managers.
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Research Highlights
A study of six early return-to-work strategies finds accommodation offers and communication with health-care professionals are two critical factors to success.
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Research Highlights
People with back injuries may experience different patterns of recovery. Knowing how people recover may help clinicians who treat patients with back injuries.
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Research Highlights
Symptoms of depression appear to be relatively common after whiplash injury. They occur soon after the incident and can be persistent, especially if patients have a history of depressive symptoms.
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Research Highlights
According to the first ergonomic analysis of job tasks in residential carpentry, some tasks put carpenters at significant risk of injury to the low back. First among them is standing or framing walls.
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Research Highlights
For regulation to be effective, regulators need to "be in the field" undertaking investigations and actively seeking out cases of non-compliance for regulation to be effective. The mere possibility of being inspected, cited and fined is not as effective as actually being inspected.
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Research Highlights
Job characteristics are a main risk factor in occupational health and safety among young workers. Reducing the physical hazards of work through improved equipment and the work environment should be an important part of workplace safety, study finds.
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Research Highlights
Despite the legal requirement in most provinces for employers to provide health and safety to new workers, only one in five new workers actually receive such training, study finds.
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Research Highlights
A study examining work injury rates for 15- to 24-year-olds in 46 regions across Ontario finds great variation rates among young workers vary greatly across the province.
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Tools and guides
This popular guide outlines seven principles that the research shows are associated with workplace practices that can help ensure the successful return of a worker after injury or illness.
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Research Highlights
Passive coping strategies—for example, withdrawing from social activities due to pain or hoping for better pain medications—slow down recovery for people with whiplash, particularly those who also have depressive symptoms.
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Sharing Best Evidence
Before employers invest in workplace health and safety interventions, they want to know the financial implications of their investment. The goal of this review was to explore whether such interventions are worthwhile from an economic point of view.
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Research Highlights
When it comes to injury risk among teenaged and young adult workers, the type of job or workplace matters more than the nature of the young workers themselves.
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Research Highlights
A study on the challenges injured workers face finds they join peer support groups when they feel misunderstood and unfairly treated.
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Research Highlights
A study of overall injury risk finds time spent in sports and recreational activities raises the risk of injury more than time spent at work.
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Tools and guides
This three-part kit is designed to inform the workplace parties about what musculoskeletal disorders are and how they can be recognized, assessed and controlled to minimize their impact on workers, based upon a guideline developed by system partners in Ontario.
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Research Highlights
Health-care workers are more likely to miss work because of illness and disability than workers in other sectors. This study compares disability management practices across four types of health-care workplaces: hospitals, nursing homes, private clinics and community clinics.
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Research Highlights
An overall decline in workers' compensation lost-time claim rates in Ontario from 1990 to 2003, partly explained by decreases in the industrial sectors of the number of people working in manual jobs.
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Research Highlights
A study of a large sample of sawmill workers from 1989 to 1997 finds falls and machinery are the main causes of injuries, but also that injury rates have been on the decline since 1994.
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Research Highlights
Some social groups are more likely than others to be affected negatively by changes in the labour market. What's more, these groups are also more susceptible to negative health effects of the insecurities that arise with these changes.
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Sharing Best Evidence
Health-care workers face a high risk of developing injuries to their muscles, tendons or other soft-tissues, including back pain. These injuries are also known as musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). IWH conducted a systematic review to summarize the existing scientific literature on the effectiveness of MSD prevention programs for health-care workers.
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Research Highlights
A systematic review finds several studies showing mostly favourable evidence for occupational health and safety management system (OHSMS) interventions. However, a lack of high-quality evidence means recommendations cannot be made in favour or against any particular one.
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Systematic Review
Amick B, Tullar J, Brewer S, Irvin E, Mahood Q, Pompeii L, Wang A, Van Eerd D, Gimeno D, Evanoff B
Health-care workers face a high risk of developing injuries to their muscles, tendons or other soft-tissues, including back pain. Many prevention initiatives have been used to try to prevent these musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) from occurring in health-care workers. However, little is known about the effectiveness of these programs. This report summarizes a systematic review of the literature on the effectiveness of MSD prevention programs for health-care workers.
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Sharing Best Evidence
Young workers are more likely than older workers to sustain work injuries, and as a result, significant resources have been spent on young worker safety programs. This systematic review takes a comprehensive look at the factors that lead young workers to get injured.
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Systematic Review
Breslin FC, Day D, Tompa E, Irvin E, Bhattacharyya S, Clarke J, Wang A, Koehoorn M
What individual, job and workplace factors are associated with occupational disease among young people 12 to 24 years of age? This systematic review report summarizes the factors associated with occupational disease among young workers.
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Annual Report
Protecting the health of healthcare workers. The Institute for Work & Health's 2005 Annual Report
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Sharing Best Evidence
This systematic review examines studies on the effects of workplace interventions on two of the most common health complaints among computer users: visual symptoms and upper-body musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs).
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Sharing Best Evidence
Young workers are more likely than older workers to sustain work injuries, and as a result, significant resources have been spent on young worker safety programs. This systematic review takes a comprehensive look at the factors that lead young workers to get injured.
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Sharing Best Evidence
What is known about the reliability and validity of occupational health and safety (OHS) audit instruments? This narrative literature review looks at OHS audit tools for OHS management systems, including those designed for high-hazard and high-reliability operations.
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Accomplishments Report
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Systematic Review
Van Eerd D, Brewer S, Amick B, Irvin E, Daum K, Gerr F, Moore S, Cullen KL, Rempel D
The most common occupational health complaints among computer users are visual problems such as eye discomfort and musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) such as pain in the neck and upper extremities. This report shares the findings of a systematic review to identify studies that evaluated the effects of workplace interventions on visual or upper extremity MSDs among computer users.
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Research Highlights
Work-related musculoskeletal disorders may cost society more than currently believed, as injured workers experience symptoms both before their claims and after they return to work.
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Research Highlights
A study of injury rates among young workers finds Ontario has the lowest rate and Saskatchewan the highest.
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Research Highlights
A worksite ergonomics program was linked to a drop in frequent and severe pain among those with repetitive strain injuries. Supervisor support and workers' ability to make decisions are also significant factors.
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Tools and guides
This practical guide is designed to help with knowledge transfer planning, based on a model that promotes building and nurturing relationships between those who produce research and those who use it. The short guide, written by experts and pioneers in KTE, includes advice and worksheets on creating messages, understanding audiences, transferring knowledge, and defining impacts.
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Research Highlights
A Cochrane review of treatments for low-back pain finds positive results for three herbal medicines, particularly Devil's Claw. However, no evidence exists to suggest that any of these substances are safe and useful for long-term use.
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Research Highlights
Several workplace factors are connected with depression among female workers, including the balance between worker effort and rewards, and the balance between work and family pressures.
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Research Highlights
Based on current evidence, traction as a single treatment is not effective for patients with low-back pain, with or without sciatica. However, there are very few high-quality studies in this field.
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Research Highlights
A participatory ergonomic approach can improve risk factors related to musculoskeletal disorders, and meaningful worker participation in the process is an important aspect for the success of this approach.
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Research Highlights
A study of patients with shoulder disorders finds age is the only factor predicting which patients are more likely to do better after physical therapy.
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Research Highlights
Contrary to what's often reported in the media, and to what the researchers expected, there is no evidence that Canadian workers experience more work stressors than they did five years earlier.
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Research Highlights
Poor physical health and more depressed mood significantly increased the total number of days that workers received compensation benefits, study finds.
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Research Highlights
Study participants recovering from work-related musculoskeletal disorders report a significant drop in the amount of time they spend providing care to family outside of work.
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Systematic Review
Bigelow P, Robson LS
The use of occupational health and safety (OHS) audits has grown in recent years, and is now seen as an effective method for ensuring compliance and improving the performance of prevention systems. IWH carried out a narrative literature review in order to determine what is known about the reliability and validity of these audit instruments, as outlined in this report.
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