Vulnerability at work

“Vulnerable” is a word often used in the health and safety world to describe those who are at an increased risk of work injury or disease. But who is vulnerable, and why. Understanding “vulnerability” due to personal, workplace and labour market factors remains a key research theme of the Institute for Work & Health (IWH). This research looks at rates of vulnerability and measures to identify, assess and prevent it. It also looks at workplace, system and government programs and policies to address vulnerability.

Latest news and findings

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IWH postpones upcoming forum on newcomers and safety

Due to circumstances related to COVID-19, the Institute is postponing the Safe Work Integration of Newcomers Forum, originally scheduled to take place March 30. We will announce a new date as soon as we know. We continue to monitor updates from public health officials regarding other events due to take place in the spring. They include the annual Systematic Review Workshop, scheduled for mid-May, as well as future IWH Speaker Series presentations.

See IWH events
Dr. Basak Yanar

Dr. Basak Yanar joins rank of IWH scientists

Congratulations to Dr. Basak Yanar, who was recently promoted from research associate to associate scientist at the Institute. Yanar has been leading research on the working conditions of newcomers to Canada. One of her current projects examines the role of employers, settlement service providers and the occupational health and safety (OHS) prevention system in promoting safe work among new immigrants.

Read Dr. Basak Yanar’s bio
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Building capacity in the settlement service sector to promote OHS awareness among newcomers

Newcomers to Canada are at 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). IWH was recently involved in a project focused on supporting settlement agencies to promote OHS awareness among newcomers. In an upcoming IWH Speaker Series presentation, IWH's Dr. Basak Yanar joins Eduardo Huesca of Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW) to talk about OHS capacity-building workshops for settlement agencies. They also discuss opportunities for Ontario’s OHS system partners to further support the settlement sector.

Sign up for the presentation
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Link between “newness” and higher injury risk confirmed by systematic review

Workers new to a job, regardless of their age, face higher risks of injury. This workplace health and safety message is based on several studies—including some by the Institute for Work & Health (IWH)—and it has spread far and wide. However, it was only recently that a systematic review on newness and injury risk was carried out. The review, conducted by IWH, confirms a link between newness and the risk of acute injuries—but is inconclusive on the link between newness and the risk of musculoskeletal disorders.

Read about the review
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Rates of workplace violence against women rising in Ontario’s education sector

Women working in Ontario’s education sector are four to six times more likely than their male counterparts to require time off work due to physical assaults on the job.This is according to a recent study from the Institute for Work & Health that looked at workplace violence rates among men and women across various sectors.

Read about the study in At Work