Immigrant workers account for much of the labour force growth in Canada. IWH research seeks to understand the work experiences of recent immigrants (newcomers) to Canada, the barriers they face in understanding and accessing their occupational health and safety and workers’ compensation rights and responsibilities, and the tools and programs needed to help ensure they can be safe and productive members of the Canadian labour force.

Workers of various ethnicities pose happily with their work team
At Work article

What research can do: IWH newcomer training resource sees uptake by various groups in Canada

Newcomers to Canada often lack knowledge about workplace health and safety issues or about their rights and responsibilities in the event of a work injury or illness. IWH's Safe Work Toolkit, designed to help settlement agencies fill in this knowledge gap, has seen uptake in Ontario and beyond.
Published: February 2020
IWH Speaker Series
IWH Speaker Series

Capacity building and evaluation of OHS training in settlement agencies

Newcomers to Canada are at an increased risk of workplace injury and illness, due in part to a lack of knowledge about their rights and responsibilities in occupational health and safety (OHS). Settlement agencies are well-positioned to promote OHS awareness among newcomers, but some may lack the resources and capacity to do so. In this presentation, Institute for Work & Health (IWH)'s Dr. Basak Yanar joins Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW)'s Eduardo Huesca to talk about the development and delivery of the OHS capacity-building workshops for settlement agencies. They will share results of an evaluation capturing the experiences of service providers and newcomer clients, and discuss opportunities for Ontario’s OHS system partners to further support the settlement sector.
Published: January 2020
Journal article
Journal article

Tool for the meaningful consideration of language barriers in qualitative health research

Published: Qualitative Health Research, January 2020
Workers of various ethnicities pose happily with their work team
Tools and guides

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.
Published: December 2019
Canadian Occupational Safety logo
IWH in the media

New beginnings: Recent immigrants need more support to reduce their heightened risk of injury

A recent study spanning across the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada found newcomers are at a higher risk of work-related injury and illness. Canadian Occupational Safety editor Amanda Silliker speaks to health and safety professionals and researchers in Canada, including IWH's Dr. Basak Yanar, about ways to reduce risks among recent immigrants.
Published: Canadian Occupational Safety, August 2019
Journal article
Journal article

Occupational health and safety vulnerability of recent immigrants and refugees

Published: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, September 2018
Three mature women look at camera
Research Highlights

OHS vulnerability among new immigrants

Recent immigrant workers are 1.6 times more likely than Canadian-born workers to experience occupational health and safety (OHS) vulnerability, defined as exposure to hazards without adequate protection to mitigate those hazards.
Published: August 2018
London Free Press logo
IWH in the media

Baranyai: Workplace training key for safety of newcomers

A local store manager was eager to help newcomers from Syria find employment, but he made something clear. Before they could work a single shift, they would need sufficient language skills to complete job safety training. This safety-first approach is not a universal experience among recent immigrants, according to a study by the Institute for Work & Health, writes columnist Robin Baranyai.
Published: The London Free Press, April 2018
Journal article
Journal article

The occupational health and safety vulnerability of recent immigrants accessing settlement services

Published: Canadian Journal of Public Health, April 2018