Construction sector

IWH research that specifically involves construction workplaces, workers, unions, employers and/or associations, as well as research on programs that specifically target the construction sector, is collected together here. Not included is IWH research that cuts across all or many sectors, even though it may be relevant to the construction sector. For this reason, visitors are encouraged to explore beyond this page to find equally important information on the prevention of work injury and disability in construction.

Featured

Silhouettes of construction workers against an orange sky
At Work article

Costs of providing UV ray protection at job sites outweighed by averted skin cancers

Ultraviolet radiation due to sun exposure is one of the most common causes of work-related cancer in Ontario. A new study by IWH examines the costs and benefits of providing protective clothing and shade shelter to avert work-related skin cancer over 30 years.
Published: May 17, 2021
Three construction workers smile for the camera
At Work article

Union firms have lower lost-time claim rates, study in ICI construction confirms

Five years ago, an IWH study found lower lost-time injury claim rates in unionized firms in Ontario's industrial, commercial and institutional construction sector. A new study uses more recent data to see if it can replicate the observed "union safety effect."
Published: January 18, 2021
Silhouettes of construction workers against an orange sky
At Work article

Costs of providing UV ray protection at job sites outweighed by averted skin cancers

Ultraviolet radiation due to sun exposure is one of the most common causes of work-related cancer in Ontario. A new study by IWH examines the costs and benefits of providing protective clothing and shade shelter to avert work-related skin cancer over 30 years.
Published: May 2021
Canadian HR Reporter logo
IWH in the media

How does unionization make a difference with workplace safety?

The union safety effect is real — at least in Ontario’s major construction sector, writes John Dujay in reporting on research findings from IWH Scientist Dr. Lynda Robson
Published: Canadian HR Reporter, April 2021
Three construction workers smile for the camera
At Work article

Union firms have lower lost-time claim rates, study in ICI construction confirms

Five years ago, an IWH study found lower lost-time injury claim rates in unionized firms in Ontario's industrial, commercial and institutional construction sector. A new study uses more recent data to see if it can replicate the observed "union safety effect."
Published: January 2021
Project report
Project report

Updating a study on the union effect on safety in the ICI construction sector

IWH updated a previous study on the union safety effect in Ontario's industrial, commercial and institutional construction sector. Like the first study, the update found unionization was associated with a lower risk of injuries requiring time away from work, including both musculoskeletal and critical (more severe) injuries.
Published: January 2021
IWH Speaker Series
IWH Speaker Series

The union effect on safety in the ICI construction sector: a study update

A study conducted several years ago by the Institute for Work & Health found unionized companies in Ontario's institutional, commercial and industrial (ICI) construction sector had a lower rate of lost-time injury claims than their non-unionized counterparts, after accounting for other factors like company size. In this presentation, Dr. Lynda Robson shares an update of that study, using data from 2012-2018. She discusses whether the latest results support what's called a "union safety effect", and how findings vary by company size and types of construction work.
Published: January 2021
A lone roofing worker sits perched on top of a new being built
Research Highlights

Evaluating the effectiveness of mandatory working-at-heights training standards

The introduction of a mandatory training standard for construction workers using fall protection equipment is associated with a 19.6 per cent reduction in the incidence rate of lost-time claims due to falls targeted by the intervention. This decline is larger than an overall decline in injuries in the sector during the same time frame. Reductions in incidence rates are also largest among the smallest employers.
Published: September 2020
Journal article
Journal article

Preventing fall-from-height injuries in construction: effectiveness of a regulatory training standard

Published: Journal of Safety Research, September 2020
Construction equipment amid dusk and haze
At Work article

Comparing the costs, benefits of silica dust prevention methods for construction workers

Construction workplaces can use different methods to reduce exposure to silica dust and protect workers from cancer down the road. But which methods should they opt for? A cost-benefit analysis led by IWH offers some guidance.
Published: August 2020