Workplace disability management

More and more Canadian workplaces are setting up accommodation and return-to-work (RTW) programs to help ensure employees with work-related and non-work-related injuries and illnesses are able to remain at work or return to work as quickly as they are safely able to do so. The Institute for Work & Health (IWH) conducts extensive research into the workplace policies and procedures that most effectively help workers safely remain at and return to work, as well as system-level programs (e.g. those offered by workers’ compensation boards) that support workplaces in doing so. This research also explores life-course issues, work disability trajectories, RTW prognostic factors, and the scope and impact of chronic, episodic and other conditions that are not necessarily caused by work, but affect the ability of people to find and keep work.

Latest news and findings

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IWH team wins inclusive design competition for job accommodation and support tool

A team led by Institute for Work & Health (IWH) Senior Scientist Dr. Monique Gignac has been announced first place winner in a competition called Inclusive Design Challenge: Support at Work. The competition, the second of the MaRS Innovation Challenges series and co-sponsored by CIBC, is aimed at finding solutions that improve support at work for persons with disabilities. 

The ACED project team (short for Accommodating and Communicating about Episodic Disabilities) won the competition for its Job Demands and Accommodation Planning Tool. It's designed to help people think about the workplace supports they need when they live with a chronic health condition that can cause challenges. Recruiting is underway to test the tool. 

Find out more about the JDAPT tool on the ACED project page
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Poor interaction with case managers raises risk of distress, Ontario study finds

Injured workers who report having poor interactions with case managers during the workers’ compensation claims process face a higher risk of developing serious or elevated psychological distress later on. That’s according to a recent IWH study that followed a group of Ontario claimants 18 months after their injury.

Read about the study findings
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Registration now open for Spring 2022 session of Project ECHO OEM

Are you an Ontario primary health-care provider who treats or supports patients with injuries and illnesses that affect their ability to work? Project ECHO OEM is a telementoring program on occupational and environmental medicine set up just for you. Learn about best practices to better support patients in recovery and return to work or stay at work. Sessions are held via videoconference each Friday from April 22 to July 15, 2022. Registration is ongoing.

Find out about the project and register
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Participants needed to pilot-test a work support and accommodation planning tool

A research team at the Institute has developed a workplace support and accommodation planning tool for workers living with a chronic, episodic health condition. It’s designed to help workers think about the self-management strategies and workplace supports they need. The Job Demands and Accommodation Planning Tool is now ready to be pilot-tested in an evaluation study. If you work in Canada and are looking for support in managing your chronic, episodic health condition, you can help the team test the tool. 

Find out if you are eligible to take part
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How workers and managers view workplace supports for depression

Many types of workplace practices and supports are available to help and accommodate workers with depression. But which do workers find most useful? Do their managers find the same? A study asks workers with lived experience of depression and the people who manage them, and finds rather divergent views.

Read the study summary