Tools and guides

Workers of various ethnicities pose happily with their work team

Safe Work Toolkit for Newcomers (Ontario)

This toolkit contains everything needed to deliver instructional sessions to newcomers in Ontario on their occupational health and safety (OHS) and workers' compensation rights and responsibilities.
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Supporting return to work among employees with musculoskeletal or mental health conditions: an evidence-based practical resource

This resource synthesizes the research evidence on the practical solutions that workplaces can implement (in conjunction with workers' compensation, insurance and health-care authorities) to support the return to work of employees with musculoskeletal disorders or mental health conditions.
Graphic of cranes hoisting letters in word learning

Essential Skills and OHS Training

This guide, based on a research collaboration led by the Institute for Work & Health, provides an overview of the process involved in modifying the curriculum of an existing occupational health and safety (OHS) training program in order to address gaps in essential skills among worker trainees.
A man sits on the steps, holding his head in his hands

Evidence-informed guide to supporting people with depression in the workplace

This evidence-based guide is designed for anyone in the workplace who supports workers with depression as they cope with their symptoms while working, or when they are returning to work following an episode of depression.
Banner for evidence contextualization tool

Evidence in context for occupational health and safety: operational handbook

This handbook, the product of a research collaboration between the Institute for Work & Health and Memorial University’s SafetyNet Centre for Occupational Health and Safety Research, can be used by occupational health, safety and disability prevention stakeholders seeking to improve policy and/or practice by contextualizing the results of a research synthesis (e.g. a systematic review) to their particular situation (e.g. particular jurisdiction, sector or workplace).
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What researchers mean by… (collection)

This guide provides simple explanations of over 35 common research terms used in the health and social sciences to help users of research better understand what scientists mean when they report their findings.
A young female engineer on a construction site is reviewing a document

IWH Organizational Performance Metric

This evidence-based, eight-item questionnaire helps organizations assess and improve their health and safety performance by indicating where improvements might be made to health and safety policies and practices in order to prevent injuries or illnesses from occurring. 
A word cloud in the shape of a hardhat focusing on work safety

OHS Vulnerability Measure

This tool assesses the extent to which a worker may be vulnerable to occupational health and safety (OHS) risks at work in four areas: hazard exposure; workplace policies and procedures; worker awareness of hazards and OHS rights and responsibilities; and worker empowerment to participate in injury and illness prevention.
A physiotherapist is treating a man with neck and back pain

QuickDecks: Best evidence in back and neck pain care

QuickDecks are slides summarizing findings from systematic reviews on the treatment of back and neck pain in adults. The slides are based on reviews published in the Cochrane Library, and are compiled by Cochrane Back and Neck, housed at the Institute for Work & Health.
A group of customer service workers sit in front of their computers in an open office complex

eOfficeErgo: Ergonomics e-learning for office workers

eOfficeErgo is an evidence-based and standard-compliant online training program designed for employees who regularly use computers on the job and would benefit from self-directed online training on the proper way to set up and work at office workstations in order to prevent musculoskeletal disorders and other injuries. 
Illustrated concept of work team improving performance

Breakthrough Change in OHS: Case study series

Each of four case studies tells the story of an Ontario organization that achieved firm-level, sustained improvement in health and safety performance. Each illustrates the factors critical to making large improvement in health and safety, based upon an evidence-based model of breakthrough change developed through Institute for Work & Health research.
A worker washes a dish in the kitchen of a restaurant

Pictograms to Prevent MSDs

Three sets of pictograms depict musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) hazards and proper practices in three service sectors: retail, restaurant and greenhouses.
Pills spill from a prescription bottle

Opioid Manager

This point-of-care tool helps health-care providers safely and effectively manage their patients with chronic non-cancer pain, using prompts, checklists and charts to help determine the appropriate opioid prescription (if any).
Male worker who is moving boxes holds his back in pain

So your back hurts...

This booklet contains evidence-based information on how people can live with short-term (acute) low-back pain. It contains reassuring advice about the course of typical back pain, as well as information on choosing the right treatment, what works and what doesn’t, and some common myths about back pain.
Illustration of hands of two people working with calculator, charts, graphs and report file

Health & Safety Smart Planner: Economic evaluation software

This software tool is designed for workplace OHS professionals and consultants to help them calculate the costs and benefits of workplace health and safety initiatives, as well as the costs of health and safety incidents. Economics training is not needed to use this tool because economic principles have been built into it.
A businessman sits in his office in front of his computer, rubbing his neck in pain

Neck Pain Evidence Summary

Agreeing on which treatments are most effective for treating neck pain is an ongoing challenge for the clinical community. From 1999-2007, an international group called the Bone and Joint Decade Task Force on Neck Pain and Its Associated Disorders worked to bring some clarity. This guide summarizes its findings.
A female health-care professional consults with her patient

Red Flags/Green Lights: A guide to identifying and solving return-to-work problems

This evidence-based guide addresses the warning signs (red flags) of a potentially complicated recovery and return to work, as well as the helpful practices (green lights) that can help ensure the recovery and return go smoothly.
Three male employees in factory work together to ensure dimensions of pipe are correct

Reducing MSD hazards in the workplace: A guide to successful participatory ergonomics programs

This booklet outlines six key steps that have been shown in the research to contribute to the success of a participatory ergonomics program, based on a systematic review by IWH researchers.
Graphic of hands of all colours overlapping, indicating working together

Working Together: Successful strategies for return to work

This tool, based on IWH's Seven "Principles" for Successful Return to Work, offers guidance to occupational therapists on how to collaborate with workplace parties in the development of successful return-to-work programs.
Workers on an assembly line in an embroidery factory do repetitive work

MSD Prevention Series

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.
Illustraion of a crane dropping in the number seven into place among a row of numbers

Seven “Principles” for Successful Return to Work

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.
Combined photo and illustration showing concept of building bridge for professional to get from here to there

From Research to Practice: A knowledge transfer planning guide

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.
A doctor is making a note during examination of male patient with back pain

3-Minute Primary Care Low-Back Pain Examination

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.
Sign post showing which way to go, with three options: this way, that way and the other way

Participative Ergonomic Blueprint

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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Guide to evaluating the effectiveness of strategies for preventing work injuries

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. 
Stack of colourful textiles

Ergonomic handbook for the clothing industry

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.
A close-up black and white photo showing hand and wrist in pain

DASH Outcome Measure

This 30-item, self-report questionnaire, and the shorter 11-item QuickDASH, measure physical function and symptoms in people with musculoskeletal disorders of the upper limb, allowing clinicians and researchers to monitor changes in symptoms and function over time.