Scientific reports

Scientific reports are Institute for Work & Health (IWH) project-based reports for funders and interested stakeholders. Written by research teams that are led by or include an IWH scientist, the reports generally include the context and rationale for the study, how it was conducted (i.e. methodology) and its findings, followed by a discussion and, if applicable, recommendations. These reports are not peer-reviewed, although they often form the basis of peer-reviewed journal articles that are later published.

Immigrant workers' experiences of injury reporting and claim filing: final report

Kosny A, Lifshen M, MacEachen E, Smith PM, Jafri GJ, Neilson C, Pugliese D, Shields J
The experiences of recent immigrants who are injured on the job, including their knowledge of their rights, encounters with employers and health-care providers, and experiences with injury reporting and claim filing, are detailed in this study report from the Institute for Work & Health.

Review of safety resources for recent immigrants entering the Canadian workforce

Kosny A, Lifshen M
This national scan from the Institute for Work & Health looks at some of the services, programs and resources on occupational health & safety and workers' compensation that are available to recent immigrants to Canada. It also discusses trends in the types of resources available, identifies important gaps, and highlights case studies of programs that present interesting opportunities for providing this information to newcomers.

Emergency department visits for the treatment of work-related injury and illness in Ontario

Mustard C, Chambers A, Bielecky A, McLeod CB, Smith PM
A study from the Institute for Work & Health, detailed in this report, suggests emergency department records in Ontario can provide an independent source of reliable surveillance information on acute job-related injuries and illnesses.

Systematic review of intervention practices for depression in the workplace

Furlan AD, Gnam W, Carnide N, Irvin E, Amick B, DeRango K, McMaster R, Cullen KL, Brouwer S, Bultmann U, Slack T
Depression in the workplace is widespread, and workplaces feel its financial pinch in the form of absenteeism and presenteeism. Yet workplace programs that specifically target depression remain uncommon, perhaps because little information is available on the effectiveness of these programs when it comes to improving outcomes of importance to employers. This systematic review set out to provide such information and its results are included in this report.

Report on knowledge transfer and exchange practices: a systematic review of the quality and types of instruments used to assess KTE implementation and impact

Van Eerd D, Cole DC, Keown K, Irvin E, Kramer D, Gibson J, Kohn M, Mahood Q, Slack T, Amick B, Phipps D, Garcia J, Morassaei S
This report shares the findings of a systematic review that looked across a wide variety of research fields to identify tools that can accurately and reliably measure how well KTE activities bring research evidence to practitioners and change their knowledge, attitudes and/or behaviour.

Benchmarking organizational leading indicators for the prevention and management of injuries and illnesses: final report

Amick B, Farquhar A, Grant K, Hunt S, Kapoor K, Keown K, Lawrie C, McKean C, Miller S, Murphy C, Nichol K, Roche M, Sackville-Duyvelshoff C, Shermer P, Speers J, Swift M, Szabo M, Vandevis T, Young J
Can a simple tool be developed that will predict a firm’s workplace injury experience based on an assessment of its health and safety policies and practices? This was the question that a team of partners within Ontario's occupational health and safety (OHS) system set out to answer, and it looks like the answer is “yes.” This report describes the team's work developing these potential OHS leading indicators.

OHSCO System Performance Measurement Report 2008

Speers J, Robson LS, Mustard C
The Occupational Health & Safety Council of Ontario (OHSCO) released its final report on system performance measurements. The report highlights trends of key performance indicators in the Ontario prevention system in 2008.

Systematic review of the effectiveness of training and education for the protection of workers

Robson LS, Stephenson C, Schulte P, Amick B, Chan S, Bielecky A, Wang A, Heidotting T, Irvin E, Eggerth D, Peters R, Clarke J, Cullen KL, Boldt L, Rotunda C, Grubb P
Occupational health and safety (OHS) training is an important part of managing workplace hazards and risks. However, many OHS stakeholders want to know whether training can meet the goals of decreasing workplace injuries and illness, and whether the cost of training programs can be justified. This report shares the findings of systematic review to determine whether OHS training and education programs have a beneficial effect on workers and firms.

Bridging the safety gap for vulnerable young workers using employment centres

Breslin FC, Wood M, Mustard C
This report from the Institute for Work and Health and the Ontario Association of Youth Employment Centres looks at work injuries and health and safety knowledge among a high-risk group of workers: young people aged 15 to 24 who are out of school, especially those with less than a high school diploma.

Effectiveness and implementation of health and safety programs in small enterprises: a systematic review of quantitative and qualitative literature

MacEachen E, Breslin FC, Kyle N, Irvin E, Kosny A, Bigelow P, Mahood Q, Scott-Dixon K, Morassaei S, Facey M, Chambers L, Couban R, Shannon HS, Cullen KL, Amick B
Small businesses have unique challenges with occupational health and safety (OHS). Overall, workers in small business have a higher risk of injury than workers in large firms, yet small-business owners and their workers may not have a sense of this increased risk because a work injury in any one small workplace is relatively rare. This reports shares the findings of a systematic review conducted to provide an understanding of, and guidance on, how to implement OHS in small businesses and what OHS programs are most likely to work.

Systematic review of the role of occupational health and safety interventions in the prevention of upper extremity musculoskeletal symptoms, signs, disorders, injuries, claims and lost time

Amick B, Kennedy CA, Dennerlein JT, Brewer S, Catli S, Williams R, Serra C, Gerr F, Irvin E, Mahood Q, Franzblau A, Van Eerd D, Evanoff B, Rempel D
Injuries to the upper extremity are common among workers, accounting for about 30 per cent of lost-time claims in Ontario in 2006. The upper extremity includes the neck, shoulder, upper arm, elbow, forearm, wrist and hand. The systematic review described in this report looked at the effectiveness of interventions to prevent upper extremity disorders and traumatic injuries. Note that this systematic review was updated in 2016.

Process and implementation of participatory ergonomics interventions: a systematic review

Van Eerd D, Cole DC, Irvin E, Mahood Q, Keown K, Theberge N, Village J, St Vincent M, Cullen KL, Widdrington H
In participatory ergonomics (PE), a team works together to identify risks and change tools, equipment and work processes to improve workplace conditions. PE interventions have been shown to reduce work-related injuries to muscles, tendons, ligaments and other soft tissues. What elements of a participatory ergonomic intervention can help ensure its success in workplaces? This systematic review report answers this important question.

Process and implementation of participatory ergonomics interventions: appendices

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.

Systematic review of injury/illness prevention and loss control programs

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.

Systematic review of OHS interventions with economic evaluations: full report

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?

Systematic review of OHS interventions with economic evaluations: appendices

Tompa E, Dolinschi R, de Oliveira C, Irvin E
This report includes appendices to the systematic review of OHS interventions with economic evaluations.

Interventions in health-care settings to protect musculoskeletal health: a 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.

Systematic review of factors associated with occupational disease among young people

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.

Workplace interventions to prevent musculoskeletal and visual symptoms and disorders among computer users: a 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.

Occupational health and safety management audit instruments: a literature 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.