COVID-19

COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization on March 11, 2020. In short order, the world of work changed dramatically in Canada. Non-essential businesses were locked down. Some workers lost their jobs; others were sent home to work. Essential businesses kept going. Despite protections, workers in sectors ranging from health care to transportation to food production and retail faced risk of infection, illness and even death. IWH researchers are looking at the impact of the pandemic on workers and workplaces, and what it means going forward.

Featured

Vector of masked workers standing in front of workplaces with coronovirus surrounding them, implying impact of COVID on workers
At Work article

What research can do: Partnering on a tool to estimate occupational risks of COVID

Public Health Ontario and Institute for Work & Health collaborate on a tool to estimate the occupational exposures that put workers at risk of COVID-19
Published: August 25, 2021
A masked worker riding a bus
At Work article

COVID worries highest among workers with both physical, mental health disabilities

People with both physical and mental health disabilities were the most concerned about their work, health and finances during the early part of the pandemic.
Published: July 30, 2021
IWH Speaker Series
IWH Speaker Series

Workplace COVID-19 protections and transmission: Findings from population-level data in Canada

From the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, public health strategies to reduce the spread of the coronavirus recognized workplaces as a potential site of transmission. However, there remain large information gaps about workplace COVID-19 protection practices and COVID-19 transmission at work. In this presentation, Dr. Peter Smith shares findings from two recently completed studies from a collaboration between the Institute for Work & Health and Public Health Ontario. The first describes the type and prevalence of infection control practices at work sites that continued to operate. The second study estimates rates of COVID-19 cases due to workplace outbreaks across industry groups in Ontario between April 2020 and March 2021.
Published: October 2021
Workplace inspectors inspecting a workplace during COVID, as indicated by the masks they are wearing
Issue Briefing

Response to COVID-19: Gathering experiences of OHS authorities in developed countries

In early 2021, a group of researchers led by IWH President Dr. Cameron Mustard asked authorities responsible for occupational health and safety (OHS) in developed countries how they had, to date, addressed the COVID-19 challenge. This Issue Briefing shares what the researchers learned.
Published: August 2021
Vector of masked workers standing in front of workplaces with coronovirus surrounding them, implying impact of COVID on workers
At Work article

What research can do: Partnering on a tool to estimate occupational risks of COVID

Public Health Ontario and Institute for Work & Health collaborate on a tool to estimate the occupational exposures that put workers at risk of COVID-19
Published: August 2021
A masked worker riding a bus
At Work article

COVID worries highest among workers with both physical, mental health disabilities

People with both physical and mental health disabilities were the most concerned about their work, health and finances during the early part of the pandemic.
Published: July 2021
Close-up of a hand holding a surgical mask and a laptop case
At Work article

What research can do: COVID-related research from IWH: findings to watch for

IWH pandemic-related research includes collaborations with external organizations and modifications of ongoing studies. Here's a look at the findings to come.
Published: June 2021
A masked young woman works at a hotel reception desk
At Work article

Education, type of work lessen pandemic job loss in youths with rheumatic diseases

Young adults with rheumatic diseases have generally faced greater challenges in the job market than their healthy peers. That was why an IWH research team set out to examine their work experiences during the pandemic.
Published: June 2021
An illustration of young people helping each other climb out of a mountain crevice
At Work article

Nine trends that will likely shape future of work for groups of vulnerable workers

Climate change, artificial intelligence, robotics and automation. The world of work will look very different in the next two decades as a result of major system-wide changes. What might it hold for vulnerable workers?
Published: April 2021
The Conversation logo
IWH in the media

What employers can learn from the NBA about returning to work amid COVID-19

The response of employers to the COVID-19 pandemic has been a mixed bag. As the economy reopens, employers face new challenges navigating health and productivity pitfalls when bringing workers back to physical premises. The National Basketball Association’s experiences returning to the hard court last season was a well-publicized achievement. IWH Scientist Dr. Arif Jetha and Public Health Ontario's Dr. Brendan Smith list four important lessons from the NBA for employers on how to return employees to the workplace during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.
Published: The Conversation, April 2021