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. 
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Which factors put workers at risk for neck pain?

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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Young workers out of school, with no diploma, more likely to be injured

Young workers who are not in school have higher injury rates, suggesting that additional workplace training programs may be needed outside of the formal school system to reach more at-risk young workers.
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Study finds hospital costs for injured sawmill workers

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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Decline in lost-time claims is linked to drop in hazardous jobs

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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“Passive” coping may slow whiplash recovery

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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Whiplash after traffic accidents can lead to depression

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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Fitness training, rehabilitation don’t improve whiplash recovery

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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What are the main causes of hospitalization in sawmill workers?

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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Work setting, hazards are key injury risk factors for youth

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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Early aggressive care delays recovery after whiplash, study confirms

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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Women, young workers, minorities are more likely to be “underemployed”

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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Some tasks put carpenters at higher risk for low-back pain

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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Do chiropractors recommend back radiographs too frequently?

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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Workplace health and safety management systems show promise

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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Citations, penalties from inspectors reduce workplace injuries

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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How young workers view workplace injuries

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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Injured worker peer groups shed light on improving return to work

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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Job settings, education linked to work disability in youth

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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Two key strategies are critical for return-to-work programs

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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More time in sports, but not work, increases youth injury risk

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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