Workplace OHS programs and practices

Workplaces play a vital role in ensuring the well-being of workers. So knowing what occupational health and safety (OHS) practices are most effective in preventing injury and illness is essential. The Institute for Work & Health (IWH) has a long history of conducting workplace-based research to provide practical guidance to employers, workers, OHS professionals and regulators about what works and what doesn’t. This research targets the injury and illness prevention practices of workplaces, as well as the programs developed by governments, health and safety associations and others to support and motivate workplaces in adopting effective practices.

Latest news and findings

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 computer workstation next to a children's tent fort

Setting up a temporary home office in a time of social distancing

Working at home in the middle of a COVID-19 pandemic means having no time and little opportunity to set up ergonomically sound workstations. So what can office workers do to make their kitchen table workspaces as comfortable as possible? We turn to Dr. Dwayne Van Eerd, who co-led the development of eOfficeErgo, for advice.

Read the article
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
A hard hat, placed next to a check list, against a black background

Can an eight-item questionnaire pick up on real-world differences in OHS practice?

How well can a set of eight questions capture something as broad and multi-faceted as an organization’s occupational health and safety (OHS) policies and practices? An Institute for Work & Health (IWH) team conducted interviews and worksite visits at organizations that had completed the eight-item leading indicator tool, called the IWH-Organizational Performance Metric. It found consistent patterns in how high- and medium-scorers approach OHS.

Read about the study
Japanese craftsperson stands in front of his workstation, smiling

What helps workers with MSDs, pain or mental health conditions return to work?

What workplace-based interventions are effective in helping workers with musculoskeletal disorders, pain and/or mental health conditions return to work (RTW)? What does the research literature say about the effectiveness of case management, work hardening, physician training and other practices on RTW outcomes? Our new Sharing Best Evidence summarizes findings of a systematic review.

Read the Sharing Best Evidence