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

A worker wearing an apron and a cloth facial mask

Second study finds COVID-19 protection at work is linked with workers' mental health

Levels of anxiety and depression are higher when workers feel they lack COVID-19 protection on the job. That's according to a study of Canadian workers not in health-care, a second in a pair of studies conducted by the Institute for Work & Health (IWH) and Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW) in the early months of the pandemic. Mental health was even poorer among essential workers who said they had no protection at work than among those who had lost their jobs since the start of the pandemic, according to this second study.

Read about the study
Illustration of three workers, two of whom are smoking

Infographic: Cannabis use at work since 2018 legalization

How have trends in cannabis use changed among workers in Canada since the substance was legalized for recreational purposes in 2018? Findings from the first two surveys of an ongoing IWH project on this question are now available in an infographic.

Download the infographic
Three women wearing masks talking to each other at work

A new IWH Speaker Series season begins with a presentation on safe work for newcomers

After an extended break due to COVID-19, the IWH Speaker Series is back—this time online only. The new season kicks off on October 13, with a presentation by IWH Associate Scientist Dr. Basak Yanar. She discusses research findings on the safe work integration of newcomers, the perspectives of employers and the experiences of immigrant-serving organizations. To find out more and to register, visit the IWH Speaker Series page.

Find out more
Logo for World Congress COVID-19 and occupational safety and health digital meeting in October 2020

World Congress 2021 hosting free ‘COVID-19 and OSH’ virtual session in early October

Registraion is now open. On October 5, 2020, a half-day special session on COVID-19 and occupational safety and health (OSH) is being offered by the organizers of the 2021 World Congress on Safety and Health at Work—and IWH is among them as a national co-host of the global event. This free, virtual session will feature thought-leaders discussing innovations in addressing COVID-19 in the workplace, how the future of work is being shaped by the global pandemic, and the relevance of promoting a culture of prevention to address COVID-19. Additional sessions are also being organized for October 6, 2020.

Register now
Construction equipment amid dusk and haze

Three methods to reduce silica dust in construction: comparing the costs and benefits

Silica dust is responsible for 570 cases of lung cancer in Canada a year; the majority of these are diagnosed in construction workers. Construction workplaces can use different methods to protect workers from exposure to silica dust, but which methods should they opt for? A cost-benefit analysis led by the Institute for Work & Health offers some guidance.

Read the article