Working conditions and health

What are the effects of work, workplace and labour force conditions on the health and safety of workers and other members of society? Institute for Work & Health (IWH) research in this area seeks to understand the context in which government, sector-based and workplace injury and disability prevention programs operate. This research explores known and emerging injuries, diseases and disorders that are related to job, workplace and/or labour market conditions. It looks at the scope, potential causes and risk factors for these injuries and illnesses, as well as their effect on workers, workplaces, regulators and society as a whole.

Latest news and findings

A worker slumps over in fatigue and defeat, next to an angry boss and a desk piled high with work

Burnout, stress risk increases greatly when psychosocial work conditions are bad overall

For one in 10 Canadian workers, the psychosocial work environment is poor across the board. They lack job security, have unmanageable workloads, receive little supervisor support, and so on. What’s more, their working conditions are associated with a substantial increase in risk of burnout and stress—seven and nine times greater risk, respectively, than among workers with good psychosocial working conditions. This is according to a new study by the Institute for Work & Health (IWH) and the Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW).

 

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A line drawing of a male figure slumped in a chair, head in hand

Webinar: Charting the long-term financial hit of having depression

How much of an impact can a depressive episode have on someone’s work earnings? IWH Associate Scientist Dr. Kathleen Dobson has conducted a study to answer this question. On November 9, she shares findings from her novel study in an IWH Speaker Series presentation.

 

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Close-up of floor markings indicating six feet distances

Webinar: Understanding infection control practices and COVID spread at work

From the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, public health authorities recognized workplaces as a potential site of transmission. However, there remain large information gaps about workplace COVID-19 protection practices and COVID-19 spread at work. What types of infection control practices were in place at workplaces that continued to operate? How many cases of COVID-19 infection were transmitted at work? Find out on October 19, in an IWH Speaker Series by Dr. Peter Smith, who will share results from two studies conducted jointly with Public Health Ontario.

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A masked worker riding a bus

Workers’ COVID concerns related to their work conditions, not disability status: study

People with both physical and mental health disabilities were the most concerned about their work, health and finances during the early part of the pandemic. That’s according to an Institute for Work & Health (IWH) study led by Senior Scientist Dr. Monique Gignac. Notably, the study found concerns were linked to people’s work conditions, not to their health or disability status.

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View from the back of a man in a suit in an urban street

Unemployment benefits linked to lower mortality rates over 10 years: IWH study

We know that being out of work puts people at risk of short- and long-term health consequences—including higher death rates. A new Institute for Work & Health study looks at whether—and how much—having income support during unemployment can lessen the negative impact.

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