Dr. Lynda Robson

PhD, Biochemistry, University of Toronto

Career change has proven rewarding for Dr. Lynda Robson, a scientist with the Institute for Work & Health. She got her start in laboratory science after finishing a PhD in biochemistry at the University of Toronto, the career of choice for many graduates in her field. However, she realized early on that she wanted her research to carry a direct impact for its users, something she felt unable to achieve from the lab.

I was dealing with radioactivity and noxious chemicals, work that was very far removed from any practical applications, she says. At the Institute, the research is better connected to the end user, and I find that personally rewarding.

Now, having retrained in public health sciences, Robson is tackling research questions that reflect her commitment to workplace injury and illness prevention. Among her current projects is a study of workplaces that have made large-scale changes in their occupational health and safety performance.

Some workplace strategies for reducing injuries result in only marginal improvements, she explains. This is somewhat frustrating because we all want to see big change. My research interest is to ask why and how those substantial changes were made.

Current projects: 

Evaluation of the implementation and effectiveness of Ontario's working-at-heights training standard

Further exploration of breakthrough change in workplace OHS performance

Selected Publications: 

Nichol K, Kudla I, Robson L, Hon C-Y, Eriksson J, Holness DL. The development and testing of a tool to assess joint health and safety committee functioning and effectiveness. American Journal of Industrial Medicine, 2017; doi 10.1002/ajim.22703 [Epub 18 Feb 2017]

Robson LS, Ibrahim S, Hogg-Johnson S, Steenstra I, VanEerd D, Amick III B. Developing leading indicators from OHS management audit data: determining the measurement properties of audit data from the field. Journal of Safety Research, 2017; 61:93-103; doi 10.1016/j.jsr.2017.02.008

Robson LS, Amick III BC, Moser C, Pagell M, Mansfield E, Shannon HS, Swift MB, Hogg-Johnson S, Cardoso S, South H. Important factors in common among organizations making large improvement in OHS performance: results of an exploratory multiple case study. Safety Science 2016; 86:211-227.

Tompa E, Robson L, Sarnocinska-Hart A, Klassen R, Shevchenko A, Sharma S, Hogg-Johnson S, Amick BC, Johnston DA, Veltri A, Pagell M. Managing safety and operations: the effect of joint management system practices on safety and operational outcomes. Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine, 2016; 58(3):e80-e89