Workers' compensation benefits

Workers' compensation is a form of insurance providing wage replacement and medical benefits to workers injured in the course of their employment. Eligibility for, and awarding of, benefits to injured workers are determined by workers’ compensation boards, which are funded through employer premiums. IWH research focuses on trends in workers’ compensation benefits, their adequacy and equity, and their effects on workers.


A man sitting on a couch holds his shoulder in pain
At Work article

IWH study finds 7 in 10 injured workers still experience pain more than a year after injury

A high proportion of injured workers in Ontario experience persistent pain for well over a year after their work-related injury. According to an IWH study of workers' compensation lost-time claimants, 70 per cent of workers experience pain 18 months after their work injury.
Published: September 30, 2022
Closeup of hands around documents and a laptop in a business meeting
At Work article

What research can do: IWH input contributes to enhancement of WSIB’s Health and Safety Index

When the WSIB reviewed its Health and Safety Index, IWH researchers provided advice on index methodology. An impact case study summarizes how enhancements to the index incorporated that advice.
Published: May 26, 2022
Journal article
Journal article

An observational study of pain severity, cannabis use, and benefit expenditures in work disability

Published: Canadian Journal of Public Health, January 2024
Journal article
Journal article

Thirteen-year associations of occupational and leisure-time physical activity with cardiorespiratory fitness in CARDIA

Published: Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, November 2023
A man speaks with a female doctor in scrubs who holds a clipboard
Research Highlights

Workers are using cannabis to treat work-related conditions, mostly without medical guidance

While cannabis is often used recreationally, there is growing interest in its use for therapeutic purposes, such as for pain, anxiety, depression and sleep problems. Some workers are using cannabis many months following the onset of a work-related condition, whether to treat their condition or for other reasons, mostly without medical guidance.
Published: October 2023
A worker drives a forklift in a lumber mill
Impact case study

Following reports by IWH and others, B.C. amends the law to strengthen protections against claim suppression

After an IWH study filled a research gap on claim suppression in B.C. and helped make the case for change, the province amended legislation to strengthen protections against the practice.
Published: July 2023
Canadian HR Reporter logo
IWH in the media

Union calls for national task force to fight violence against transport workers

An article by Jim Wilson on workplace violence in the transit sector cites IWH study on pain post-injury.
Published: Canadian HR Reporter, January 2023
Journal article
IWH Speaker Series
IWH Speaker Series

Persistent pain: its role in work absence, health, and employment after a disabling work-related injury

Among working-aged adults, one of every six injuries that need medical attention are caused by work exposures, with over a third of these injuries leading to periods of work absence or disability. Chronic or persistent pain may occur after an injury. It is currently unclear how many workers experience persistent pain and how it impacts worker health and function, return to work and disability benefit expenditures. In this presentation, Dr. Kathleen Dobson shares findings from a study of Ontario workers experiencing a work-related injury or illness focusing on the prevalence of persistent pain, and its association with return-to-work outcomes.
Published: November 2022