Research that matters to protecting the health and safety of workers

The Institute for Work & Health (IWH) is a Canadian leader in work injury and disability prevention research. An independent, not-for-profit organization, IWH conducts and shares actionable research to promote, protect and improve the health and safety of working people.

Latest news & findings


Study: Newcomers often lack OHS protection and information in their precarious first jobs

Four themes emerged in an Institute for Work & Health study on the labour market experiences of newcomers to Canada: they have great difficulty finding work; their first jobs are often precarious; they rely heavily on community networks; and their knowledge of workplace health and safety is limited. The researchers suggest more settlement agencies offer OHS information as a regular part of their language training and employment preparation services, as some already do.

Read about the study in At Work


Research impact: WHO rehabilitation guidelines build on IWH systematic reviews

In February 2017, the World Health Organization released its report Rehabilitation in health systems. Aimed primarily at low- and middle-income countries, the report sets out evidence-based recommendations to help government leaders and health policy-makers develop or extend rehabilitation services and deliver them equitably within existing health systems. Five of the nine recommendations contained in the report relied on the evidence synthesized by a research team from the Institute for Work & Health.

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IWH Speaker Series—March 27: Differences in risk of workplace violence for women and men

Workplace violence is getting increasing attention, especially in sectors such as health care and education. On March 27, IWH Speaker Series presents Institute for Work & Health Senior Scientist Dr. Peter Smith, who will talk about two of his recent studies on differences in the risk of workplace violence for men and women. One examined the contribution of work-related factors to the risk of different types of violence, and the other examined risks in different Ontario industries.

Register to attend in person or via live stream


Study: Family members play important role in work injury recovery

When someone gets injured, family members often rally to help with chores, shoulder the child- or elder-care burden, and cope with the financial impact. The support family members provide in the aftermath of an injury runs the gamut and yet is seldom formally acknowledged by compensation systems in policy or procedure. This is according to a study conducted in Australia by an IWH scientist while she was there on sabbatical.

Read about the study in At Work


IWH scientist awarded 2018-19 Mayday Pain and Society Fellowship

Institute for Work & Health Scientist Dr. Andrea Furlan is among 12 pain experts in the United States and Canada to win a 2018-19 Mayday Pain and Society Fellowship. The 12 winners will attend a four-day workshop in Washington, D.C. to learn skills to effectively communicate and advocate for the translation of scientific research and evidence-based best practices in pain care and management.

Learn more


Newcomers often lack OHS protection and information in their precarious first jobs. Settlement agencies may be able to help.

Studies consistently link opioids prescribed to treat acute MSDs with longer work disability, but it's not necessarily cause and effect.

Family members play an important role in the aftermath of a work injury, and their support during recovery should be acknowledged. 

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Tools and guides

Integrate evidence-based policies and practices into your occupational health and safety, return-to-work and rehabilitation programs. IWH has created a number of tools and guides based on our research findings that can help improve program outcomes.

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Impact case studies

Find out how IWH research is making a difference. Read our impact case studies, in which policy-makers, workplaces and other stakeholders in health, safety and disability prevention tell how IWH research helped improve their policies, programs and practices.

Go to case studies

Research summaries

Whether it’s a policy briefing, a systematic review summary or the highlights of a specific research project, we’ve compiled a number of plain-language summaries to help you understand the research we’re doing, what we have found, and how we found it.

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Learn directly from the researchers themselves about their latest findings in health, safety and disability prevention. We host regular presentations (in person or live stream) through our IWH Speaker Series and our annual Nachemson lecture.

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