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

Excellence written on road way

WSIB Health & Safety Excellence Program makes use of IWH safety culture measure

A version of the IWH-Organizational Performance Metric (IWH-OPM) is used by Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) to let workplaces in its Health and Safety Excellence Program measure their safety culture against a benchmark. The measure also allows the compensation agency to track trends in safety culture over time among participating organizations.

Read about this use of research
A long-term care worker pushes a resident in a wheelchair down the hall

Participatory ergonomics a sustainable OHS approach in long-term care

Frontline workers know better than anyone what musculoskeletal (MSD) hazards they encounter on the job—and how to solve them. Participatory ergonomics is an occupational health and safety (OHS) approach that puts worker involvement front and centre. An IWH study led by Scientist Dr. Dwayne Van Eerd found this approach can be successfully implemented and sustained—even in busy long-term care facilities challenged by staff shortages and high turnover.

Read about the findings
A woman smiles sympathetically at a colleague in an office

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
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.

Sign up for the presentation
Fracking rig workers in BC climb tower

IWH Speaker Series presentation: the nature and extent of claim suppression in B.C.

A new IWH Speaker Series season is around the corner. To start off the season on Tuesday, September 28, presenters Dr. Ron Saunders, an adjunct scientist at IWH, and John O’Grady, a partner at Prism Economics and Analysis, share their research estimating the nature and extent of claim suppression in British Columbia. Find out more on the events page.

Go to the event page