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

A roomful of people listen intently to workshop presenter

Supporting settlement agencies to provide OHS information to newcomers

Newcomers to Canada face a higher risk of workplace injury and illness. That’s due in part to a lack of knowledge about their occupational health and safety (OHS) rights and responsibilities. Settlement agencies can help raise this awareness, but they also need support from the prevention system to do so. That’s according to a recent project involving IWH and several partner organizations.

Read about the project
Logo for World Congress on Safety and Health at Work 2021

XXII World Congress on Safety and Health at Work now taking place in September 2021

In light of public health guidance regarding COVID-19, the International Organizing Committee (IOC) of the XXII World Congress on Safety and Health at Work has made the difficult decision to postpone the event, which will now take place September 19 – 22, 2021. The good news is that the Congress will still take place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in the heart of downtown Toronto, Canada, exploring the Congress theme Prevention in the Connected Age: Global solutions to achieve safe and healthy work for all. The Congress is also being expanded to include virtual options, including live streaming to facilitate further global engagement.

Given the impact of COVID-19 on workplaces around the world, the IOC has also decided to convene a virtual meeting of global thought leaders focused on COVID-19 on October 5, 2020. More information about this meeting and how to participate will be posted to the Congress website in the coming weeks.

Go to the World Congress website to learn more
A paramedic wearing a face mask stands next to two ambulances

COVID-19 concerns greater for workers with health conditions

The COVID-19 pandemic has left many in Canada’s workforce worried about their health and finances. Those worries are even greater for workers living with an underlying and invisible chronic health condition. In the planning of health and safety responses to COVID-19 and the ultimate reopening of workplaces, employers should be aware of the unique needs of this potentially vulnerable group of workers, writes IWH Scientist Dr. Arif Jetha in The Conversation.

Find the link in IWH in the media
blurry photo of people, potentially workers, walking through downtown

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