Monthly news and research findings from the Institute for Work & Health

IWH News

December 2017

Season’s Greetings from the Institute for Work & Health

As the holiday season arrives, all of us at the Institute for Work & Health (IWH) wish you a joyful, healthy and safe festive season. Thanks for your support throughout the year. Let’s head into 2018 with renewed resolve to work toward safe and healthy workplaces for all.

A Q&A on what we know—and don’t know—about marijuana and workplace safety

The federal government says it’s committed to legislation making recreational cannabis legal by July 1, 2018. As that date approaches, many workplace parties are concerned about the implications for occupational health and safety (OHS). So what does the research to date say about marijuana use and OHS? Find out in a Q&A with two of our researchers. (Hint: There’s a lot we need to learn.)

Read the article

Standing too long at work linked to increased risk of heart disease

There has been a lot of interest in recent years in the health risks of prolonged sitting. However, a recent study by IWH and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences found the risk of heart disease is twice as high for people in jobs that mostly involve standing (e.g. cooks, tellers, cashiers) compared to those in jobs that involve mostly sitting. Read about the findings, and check out a sidebar that tackles some of the misconceptions out there about the study. (Here’s one: It’s not about standing desks.)

Read the article

Watch: IWH presentations at the 2017 Research & Policy Forum on Immigration, Work & Health

Are immigrants more vulnerable to workplace hazards than Canadian-born workers? What can we do to promote the safe integration of newcomers into the labour market? How do workers with limited English proficiency navigate the workers’ compensation system after an injury? Studies on these research questions were recently presented at the 2017 Research & Policy Forum on Immigration, Work & Health at Toronto’s city hall. Those lectures are now available as slidecasts.

Watch the slidecasts

IWH Speaker Series—the Institute’s “plenaries” get a new name

Starting in the new year, IWH’s plenary series will be named IWH Speaker Series: New and Emerging Research in Work and Health. The hour-long public presentations, by work and health researchers from IWH, across Canada and around the world, are usually held at 11 a.m. Tuesdays at the Institute’s downtown Toronto location. People who can’t attend in person can watch the presentation via a live stream. Check the schedule often for upcoming presentations, including two in January—one on the burden of occupational cancer and the other on workplace interventions to manage depression.

See the series schedule

Announcing the Institute’s 2017/2018 Syme training fellows

Congratulations to three public health researchers who have been named recipients of IWH’s 2017/2018 S. Leonard Syme Training Fellowships in Work and Health. The fellowships were established in honour of Dr. Syme, a pioneer in the field of social epidemiology and chair of IWH’s Scientific Advisory Committee from 1995 to 2002. The three recipients and their research projects are:

  • Meghan Crouch, University of Waterloo—Mental health in the workplace;
  • Kimberly Sharpe, University of British Columbia—Regional variation in health care in five Canadian workers’ compensation systems and its relationship to return to work; and
  • Robert Shaw, University of British Columbia—Supporting employment for young adults with disabilities.

Read about the fellowship

CRE-MSD awards three seed grants and launches new call for proposals

The Centre of Research Expertise for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders (CRE-MSD) has awarded seed grants to three research teams. The awards go to the following projects:

  • Determining the prevalence of occupational musculoskeletal disorders in practising Ontario chiropractors (Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College);
  • Evaluation of a participatory approach to decrease musculoskeletal disorder injury risk in the core-shack at a northern Ontario mine (Laurentian University); and
  • Predicting biomechanical load and MSD risk capability for nurses using simulation (Ryerson University).

CRE-MSD is now accepting proposals for the next call. The deadline for applications is January 22, 2018.

Find out more

For more information, please contact

Cindy Moser
Communications Manager
416-927-2027, ext. 2183

Uyen Vu
Communications Associate

IWH News is distributed monthly by the Institute for Work & Health, an independent, not-for-profit organization that conducts and shares research to protect and improve the health and safety of working people.

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