Plenary Schedule

Plenaries usually run from 11:00 a.m. to noon and are held at: Institute for Work & Health, 481 University Avenue, Suite 800, Toronto (Directions). To confirm your attendance, please RSVP to Albana Canga ( or 416-927-2027 ext. 2160).

If you're unable to attend a plenary in person, you can watch and listen to most plenaries via a live stream. For information on how to access the live stream of a plenary, please e-mail Albana Canga (

To view a slidecast of a past plenary, where available, go to the Archive page for the year in which the plenary was held, or visit the IWH YouTube channel.

Other events associated with IWH may be listed under Workshops or Upcoming Events. If you wish to be notified of upcoming plenaries and events by e-mail, please sign up here.

Topics and speakers are subject to change. Please check back for more information.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Dr. Jim Dickey , Western University

Whole-body vibration (WBV) is a significant health risk for four to seven per cent of the workforce, primarily operators of heavy mobile vehicles. Negative health outcomes are associated with excessive vibration exposure, including lower-back pain, spinal degeneration, gastro-intestinal tract problems, sleep problems, headaches, neck problems, autonomic nervous system dysfunction, hearing loss, and nausea. In this plenary, Dr. Jim Dickey describes two approaches that have been successfully used to evaluate seating in heavy mobile machinery. He also shares why optimized seating should be considered for some workplaces. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Dr. Agnieszka Kosny , Institute for Work & Health

Physicians have an important role in the return to work (RTW) process, but research shows that they sometimes struggle to manage RTW consultations and help patients return to work after an injury. As part of a broader exploration into the role played by doctors in RTW, an IWH team led by Dr. Agnieszka Kosny sought to examine resources, policies and guidelines that have been developed for physicians by workers’ compensation boards, governments and other organizations across Canada. In this plenary, Kosny highlights resource gaps that may hinder physicians’ understanding of their roles and responsibilities in the workers' compensation system and RTW process, and which may ultimately delay workers’ RTW after injury.


Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Dr. Lynda Robson , Institute for Work & Health

Can best practices in manufacturing and occupational safety be complementary or even synergistic? Or is there necessarily a trade-off between the two? What practices are important for achieving high performance in both manufacturing operations and safety? Dr. Lynda Robson presents results from an inter-disciplinary mixed-method research project. She highlights the “joint management system practices” associated with positive effects on both operational outcomes (e.g. product quality) and safety outcomes. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Dr. Arif Jetha , Institute for Work & Health

Arthritis is one of the most common causes of work disability in Canada. Among those with arthritis, three in five are in their working years (ages 18 to 65 years). Yet, little research has looked into the work experiences of young and middle-aged adults with arthritis. In this plenary, Dr. Arif Jetha shares his research examining the impact of important life transitions on the work experiences of young, middle-aged and older adults with arthritis.