Research Highlights

Research Highlights is an easy-to-read, lay-audience summary of a study led by a scientist from the Institute for Work & Health (or includes an Institute scientist on its research team) that has been published in a respected, peer-reviewed journal. Each research summary explains why the study was done, how it was done, what the researchers found and the implications of the study, where applicable. 
Three mature women look at camera

OHS vulnerability among new immigrants

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.
Man in red shirt jogs in a park adjacent to an office building

Facilities near or at work and off-hours exercise levels

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.
A young woman rests her head in her palm, eyes closed

How workplace support needs differ for younger and older adults with chronic disease

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.
A black and white image of a rope fraying

Gender differences in the link between psychosocial work exposures and stress

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.
Two female servers at a restaurant bar

Prolonged standing on the job associated with higher risk of heart disease than prolonged sitting

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.
A woman with disability works in a bakery

Workers with disabilities report greater OHS vulnerability

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.
Silhouettes of a man and a woman looking straight ahead

Role of chronic conditions and physical job demands on differences in work activity limitations between women and men

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.
Three workers talking in a shipyard

Workplaces that focus on both operations and safety can succeed at both

Workplaces that jointly manage operations and occupational health and safety (OHS) perform well at both, and no worse than workplaces that focus on only one. There’s no evidence that success in operations requires a trade-off with safety.
Older worker cuts wood

Are older workers off work longer after an injury because of the nature of their injuries?

Older men and women with work-related injuries remain off work on benefits longer than other workers, and this longer time off work is not explained by the type or severity of their injuries.
A downcast nurse in a dark hallway looks to an exit

Pain and long-term absences among Canadian nurses with MSIs

Two important factors associated with how long Canadian female nurses stay off of work due to musculoskeletal injuries (MSIs) are the level of pain and the extent to which pain interferes with job duties.
Two friendly colleagues sit on stairs, chatting

The role of co-workers in return to work

Return-to-work (RTW) models and policies can be improved by taking into account social relations within a work unit, especially the role of co-workers.
A woman grimaces while holding her back

Development of a brief psychosocial screening instrument for people with low-back pain

The Pain Recovery Inventory of Concerns and Expectations (PRICE), is a psychosocial screening questionnaire for workers with low-back pain that can estimate the overall likelihood of quickly recovering and returning to work within three months after injury.
An older construction worker in a hard hat looks at the camera

The relationship between age and risk of work injury in B.C.

The relationship between age and injury varies depending on the type of injury. Older workers, for example, are at higher risk of fractures and dislocations.
A blurry image of figures walking along a sunlit street

Ontario youth work injury rate declining more steeply, converging with adult rate

From 1999 to 2007, the lost-time claim rate for young Ontario workers (ages 15 to 24) declined more steeply than the adult rate, and as a result the two rates are converging.
A man sits in an empty diner, head in hand

Precarious employment may affect worker health

A longitudinal study of a representative sample of Canadian workers finds certain work characteristics are linked with precarious employment and put workers at increased risk of poor physical health.
Man in white t-shirt holds neck

Work absenteeism and recurrent neck pain

A small but important minority—14 per cent—of injured workers experience recurrent neck pain, accounting for 40 per cent of all lost-time days due to neck pain, according to a study of claims made to Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board.
A worker rubs his eyes as he works late

Changing work conditions in three provinces

A study examining changes in work conditions in three provinces between 1994 and 2003-2005 finds lower levels of job satisfaction, lower levels of decision authority and co-worker support, and higher likelihood of rotating shifts and long hours.
A physiotherapist helps client do arm exercises

Changes in physiotherapy use for MSDs highlight inequality of access

Physiotherapy use and costs to treat musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) at a large Ontario workplace increased substantially over a 10-year period. The potential exists for unequal access to physiotherapy services among workers not privately insured or covered by their workplaces.
Doctor reviews checklist with patient in her office

The role of health-care providers in complicated claims

Problematic interactions among health-care providers, injured workers and workers’ compensation boards may delay the return to work of injured workers with complicated claims. The result can be frustration, financial difficulties and mental health problems for injured workers.
Close-up of a neon "open" sign

Improving health and safety in small businesses

Health and safety interventions in small businesses can improve safety-related attitudes, behaviour and health. Evidence supports two intervention types: a combination of training and safety audits; and a combination of engineering controls, training, safety audits and rewards.