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

Title: 5 things we think you should know, and five thumbnail images

Five things we think OHS practitioners should know: findings from recent IWH research

Five of our most practical research findings from the past year for professionals in occupational health and safety (OHS) are all together in one handout. The 2021 edition of 5 Things We Think You Should Know is now available. Please download and share.

Download the handout
female factory worker sitting on floor with tools, looking worried about what to do

Weaker OHS procedures, policies explain small employers’ higher injury risks: study

Workers at small firms say they are more frequently exposed to hazards and report more work-related injuries and illnesses than workers at large firms. But an Institute for Work & Health study finds the injury risks in large and small firms even out when weaker occupational health and safety policies at small firms are taken into account.

Read about the study
Silhouettes of construction workers against an orange sky

Benefits outweigh costs when protection from UV radiation is offered to construction workers

Ultraviolet radiation due to sun exposure is one of the most common causes of work-related cancer in Ontario. A new study by IWH examines the costs and benefits of providing protective clothing and shade shelter to avert work-related non-melanoma skin cancer over 30 years.

Read about the study
A pair of hands roll a cannabis joint

What factors differentiate people who use cannabis at work and those who don't?

Job visibility. Supervisors willing to address on-the-job cannabis use. When examining the factors that set apart people who used cannabis at work from those who used cannabis but never on the job, researchers at IWH found some factors that were expected, including the factors mentioned above. But some of the factors they found were both surprising and hard to explain.

Find out more
A female construction worker stands next to a steel girder

New resource to help workplaces implement MSD prevention programs

Workplaces currently use a range of practices to prevent musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs)—from ergonomics training and workstation adjustments to work redesign. To help workplaces identify and implement appropriate prevention programs, a research team at IWH worked with partners in Newfoundland and Labrador to create a resource that draws upon the best available research evidence, integrated with practitioner expertise and stakeholder experiences. The resource is now available to download. 

Download the resource