Health-care sector

IWH research that specifically involves health-care workplaces, workers, unions, employers and/or associations, as well as research on programs that specifically target the health-care sector, is collected together here. Not included here is IWH research that cuts across all or many sectors, even though it may be relevant to the health-care 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 health care.

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Participatory approach to health and safety in long-term care

Involve front-line staff when identifying and controlling hazards at long-term care homes. Those who do a job every day know the associated hazards best. A participatory approach can help prevent injuries.
Published: October 2, 2019
Black silhouettes of two women in dialogue, with colourful speech bubbles above them
Research Highlights

Getting the message right: strategies to improve return-to-work communication

Communication is central to disability management—especially in large and complex organizations where multiple parties are involved in the return-to-work process and inconsistent practices can add to communication challenges. Workplace stakeholders in large and complex organizations use key strategies to effectively communicate about RTW. They include communicating messages of support, correctly timing RTW communication, carefully wording messages, framing messages and tailoring messages for individual workers.
Published: July 2022
A masked personal support worker looks grimly at the camera
Research Highlights

Working conditions for Greater Toronto Area personal support workers during the COVID-19 pandemic

Personal support workers (PSWs) faced a range of challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including concerns of contracting or transmitting the virus, reduced work hours and income, loss of childcare services and lack of paid sick leave. While the pandemic highlighted the importance of the PSW workforce to the Canadian health-care system, pre-existing poor working conditions—in particular, insecure jobs with few benefits—exacerbated COVID-19-related work experiences.
Published: July 2022
Journal article
Journal article

Implementing the Total Worker Health program in a shared governance context

Published: Journal of Emergency Nursing, July 2022
Journal article
Journal article

Trends and disparities in the use of telehealth among injured workers during the COVID-19 pandemic

Published: Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine, April 2022
Journal article
A long-term care worker pushes a resident in a wheelchair down the hall
Research Highlights

Implementing participatory ergonomics in the long-term care sector

It can be challenging to tackle long-standing musculoskeletal hazards in busy, high turnover settings such as long-term care homes. Despite this, an IWH study finds a participatory approach—one that involves frontline workers—can be successfully implemented and sustained.
Published: February 2022
A woman smiles sympathetically at a colleague in an office
Research Highlights

Workers’ and managers’ perspectives on workplace supports for depression

In a survey of workers with depression and those who manage them, nearly one out of four said no supports were available. Asked about the most helpful type of support, survey respondents with lived experience of depression most often indicated employee assistance programs (EAPs) and other supports external to the workplace. As for barriers to implementing practices, participants noted unsupportive managers, lack of knowledge about mental health in the workplace, and lack of training for managers.
Published: January 2022