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: Supervisors' first reaction to injury affects return-to-work outcomes

A supervisor’s supportive reaction to an injury—for example, by expressing empathy and reassurance instead of skepticism and blame—significantly increases the likelihood that the injured worker will successfully return to work. That’s according to a recent study conducted by a research team at the Institute for Work & Health (IWH) and Australia’s Monash University. 

Read about the study in At Work


Congrats to our 2018/19 Syme fellows

Two early-career researchers have been awarded the 2018/19 S. Leonard Syme Training Fellowships in Work & Health. The two fellows are Corey McAuliffe, PhD candidate in social and behavioural health sciences at the University of Toronto’s Dalla Lana School of Public Health, and Julia Goyal, PhD candidate in public health and health systems at the University of Waterloo’s School of Public Health and Health Systems. Congratulations Corey and Julia. We look forward to working with you.

Find out about our fellowship opportunities


Media release: Risk of workplace violence increasing among women in Ontario’s education sector

Women working in Ontario’s education sector are four to six times more likely than their male counterparts to require time off work because of being physically assaulted on the job. This is according to a study by the Toronto-based Institute for Work & Health (IWH), recently published online in Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

See the release


Save the date: Dr. Paul Demers delivers IWH’s annual Nachemson lecture November 28

The Institute’s Alf Nachemson Memorial Lecture takes place this year on November 28. The lecture will be delivered by Dr. Paul Demers, director of the Occupational Cancer Research Centre (OCRC). In this role, Demers has been working with colleagues and collaborators across the country to develop and improve the surveillance of work-related cancers, establish their human and economic burden, and draw on research to develop policy recommendations aimed at preventing exposure. The event, to take place at the Design Exchange in downtown Toronto, is free and open to the public.

Find out more and sign up


Working long hours increases risk of diabetes in women but not men: study

Women who work 45 hours or more a week face a 63 per cent higher risk of developing diabetes than women who work 35-44 hours. Among men who work long hours, however, the incidence of diabetes tends to go down. This is according to a study by the Institute for Work & Health (IWH) and Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, which followed a sample of 7,000 Ontario workers over 12 years.

Read about the study


Working long hours increases the risk of diabetes among women, but not men—one of several findings in the issue on sex and gender differences in work and health.

Supervisors’ first reactions to injury can affect the likelihood of injured workers successfully returning to work.

Hiring and accommodating people with serious mental illnesses is a net benefit for employers, according to economic evaluations in five workplaces.

Read the issue

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.

View tools and guides

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.

Get the summaries


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.

See upcoming events