Document directory

Sharing Best Evidence
Small businesses have unique challenges with occupational health and safety (OHS). This systematic review was conducted to provide an understanding of, and guidance on, how to implement OHS in small businesses, and to identify effective OHS programs.
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Research Highlights
An approach used by the Institute for Work & Health to involve non-researchers in systematic reviews offers several benefits, providing the basis for the inclusion of stakeholders as a permanent step of conducting reviews.
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Research Highlights
Even after they first return to work, people with MSDs may still experience pain, depressive symptoms and work limitations, according to a study on recurring absences.
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Research Highlights
Despite a lack of official data on the labour force participation of pre-teens and young teens, 12- to 14-year-olds are working and getting exposed to the same OHS risks as other workers, according to a study conducted in Ontario and B.C.
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Research Highlights
Neck pain in workers results from a number of individual and workplace factors. This review examines the role of age, physical fitness, work demands, job insecurity, among others.
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Systematic Review
Van Eerd D, Cole DC, Irvin E, Mahood Q, Keown K, Theberge N, Village J, St Vincent M, Cullen KL, Widdrington H
This report contains appendices to the 2008 systematic review on the process and implementation of participatory ergonomics interventions.
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Research Highlights
Despite reports linking chiropractic care with vertebrobasilar artery (VBA) stroke, this study finds no evidence that visits to a chiropractor increase the risk of a stroke.
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Research Highlights
Working in a not-for-profit social service organization can be rewarding, but the job can come with health risks. However, a study finds the organization's mission can be a powerful concept in non-profit organizations, resulting in workers putting their clients’ well-being before their own.
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Research Highlights
Clinicians who assess patients with neck pain should triage them into one of the four categories or grades to determine the need for further diagnosis or treatment.
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Sharing Best Evidence
In participatory ergonomics (PE), a team works together to identify risks, and change tools, equipment and work processes to improve workplace conditions. PE programs can reduce work-related injuries to muscles, tendons, ligaments and other soft tissues. This systematic review identifies the factors that can increase the likelihood of a successful PE program in workplaces.
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Research Highlights
Temporary work does not appear to increase the rate of work-related injury or illness absences lasting a week or longer. What's more, those with multiple temporary jobs had fewer absence spells.
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Research Highlights
Neck pain is a persistent and recurring problem in workers. About 60 per cent of workers who experienced neck pain reported having it one year later.
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Research Highlights
Workers aged 15 to 24 with a compensation claim, when cto their peers without a claim, have higher levels of health-care use, both before and after their injury. That's especially true for young women with claims.
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Systematic Review
Brewer S, King E, Amick B, Delclos GL, Spear J, Irvin E, Mahood Q, Lee L, Lewis C, Tetrick L, Gimeno D, Williams R
Injury/illness prevention and loss control programs help protect workers from injuries, meet regulatory requirements, reduce the negative effects of injuries and manage costs. An IWH systematic review on these programs found strong evidence supporting the effectiveness of disability management/return-to-work programs. Read about the reviews findings and recommendations in this report.
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Annual Report
Evidence at Work. The Institute for Work & Health's 2006 Annual Report
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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
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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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
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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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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Archived 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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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 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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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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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
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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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
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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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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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
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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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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