Document directory

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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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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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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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 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
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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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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Systematic Review
Breslin FC, Day D, Tompa E, Irvin E, Bhattacharyya S, Clarke J, Wang A
Studies have found that 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. However, these programs were developed without a comprehensive look at the factors that lead young workers to get injured. IWH undertook a systematic review, detailed in this report, to determine what factors are associated with work injury and illness among young workers.
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Annual Report
Dedicated to Change. The Institute for Work & Health's 2004 Annual Report
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Project report
Institute for Work & Health, IBM Business Consulting Services
This report shares the findings of a study looking at the effects of New Experimental Experience Rating (NEER), an employer incentive program of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board in Ontario. The study is based on case studies in the health-care, transportation and manufacturing sectors.
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Sharing Best Evidence
By improving the ergonomics of work and workplaces, it should be possible to prevent or reduce musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) and increase productivity. This systematic review summarizes the evidence on the effectiveness of workplace-based participatory ergonomics interventions in improving workers' health.
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Sharing Best Evidence
Occupational health and safety management systems (OHSMSs) have developed considerably over the last 20 years, yet little is known about their effectiveness. The systematic review aimed to provide the evidence on the the effectiveness of mandatory and voluntary OHSMSs and identify facilitators and barriers to their adoption and implementation.
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Accomplishments Report
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Systematic Review
Robson LS, Clarke J, Cullen KL, Bielecky A, Severin C, Bigelow P, Irvin E, Culyer AJ, Mahood Q
Occupational health and safety management systems (OHSMSs) have developed considerably over the last 20 years, yet little is known about their effectiveness. This report summarizes the findings of a systematic review on the facilitators and barriers to the adoption and effectiveness of OHSMSs.
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Systematic Review
Cole D, Rivilis I, Van Eerd D, Cullen KL, Irvin E, Kramer D
The inappropriate design of workplaces and work processes contributes significantly to the development of common work-related musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). By improving ergonomic aspects of work and workplaces, it should be possible to prevent or reduce these disorders and increase productivity. One practice advocated for improving workplace design and processes is participatory ergonomics. This report shares the findings of a systematic review on the effectiveness of workplace-based participatory ergonomic interventions in improving workers' health.
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KTE resources
Barwick M, Butterill D, Coutts J, Gibson J, MacDonald, T, Noonan T, Palloo G, Reardon R, Steidman R
This report details the outcomes of an Ontario Regional Knowledge Transfer and Exchange Workshop that took place in 2005. The workshop, part of an initiative to support the development of knowledge transfer and exchange (KTE) capacity, resulted in eight key messages about the direction of KTE.
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Annual Report
Keeping Pace with Change. The Institute for Work & Health's 2003 Annual Report
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Accomplishments Report
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Systematic Review
Franche RL, Cullen KL, Clarke J, MacEachen E, Frank JW, Sinclair S, Reardon R
This report contains appendices to the systematic review of the quantitative and qualitative literature of workplace-based return-to-work interventions.
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Systematic Review
Franche RL, Cullen KL, Clarke J, MacEachen E, Frank JW, Sinclair S, Reardon R
Employers, insurers and workers have expressed a growing interest in workplace-based return-to-work (RTW) intervention studies. To provide a comprehensive summary of the most effective workplace-based RTW interventions , the Institute for Work & Health conducted a systematic review of the return-to-work literature published since 1990. The results are included in this report.
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Systematic Review
Franche RL, Cullen KL, Clarke J, MacEachen E, Frank JW, Sinclair S, Reardon R
Employers, insurers and workers have expressed a growing interest in workplace-based return-to-work (RTW) intervention studies. To provide a comprehensive summary of the most effective workplace-based RTW interventions and to direct future research priorities in this area, the Institute for Work & Health conducted a systematic review of the return-to-work literature published since 1990, and the findings are summarized in this overview.
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Sharing Best Evidence
What workplace-based return-to-work interventions are effective and under what conditions? This systematic review examines both qualitative and quantitative studies.
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Tools and guides
This three-part video teaches primary care physicians the basic steps involved in an evidence-based examination of a patient presenting with low-back pain.
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Project report
Frank JW, Cullen KL, Breslin FC, Cole D, Cote P, Franche RL, Mustard C, Reardon R, Shannon HS, Sinclair S
After several decades of concentrated effort by researchers, policy-makers and employers, the decline in rates of workplace injuries is decelerating and long absences from work persist after injury. This paper is intended to initiate a dialogue about prevention among all those who are interested in making Ontario workplaces safer and healthier by building a framework for further discussion and activity.
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Annual Report
Pursuing Our Vision. The Institute for Work & Health's 2002 Annual Report
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Tools and guides
This step-by-step facilitator's guide is designed to help with the implementation of a successful participatory ergonomics program as part of an organization’s health and safety program.
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Annual Report
Building Healthier Workplaces. The Institute for Work & Health's 2001 Annual Report
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Annual Report
Research of the Working World. The Institute for Work & Health's 2000 Annual Report
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Tools and guides
This comprehensive guide lays out the methods behind rigorous effectiveness evaluations of workplace safety interventions—from determining the appropriate design and deciding who should be in your study sample, to measuring outcomes and going beyond quantitative methods. 
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Tools and guides
This practical handbook focuses on common ergonomics problems in the cutting, assembly, pressing and finishing processes in the textile industry, outlining how job design, tools or techniques may contribute to injuries and providing solutions to prevent them.
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Annual Report
The world of work has changed dramatically since 1913... The Institute for Work & Health's 1999 Annual Report
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Project report
Brooker AS, Cole D, Eakin J, Kerr M, Robson LS, Severin C, Shannon H
This special report, published in 2000, highlights the Institute’s Healthy Workplace Balanced Scorecard project. The scorecard was in the pilot stage of its development, and there was a high level of anticipation from workplaces. This report on the scorecard was in response to that growing interest, and highlighted that “what gets measured, gets done."
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