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

IWH News

October 2019

New website offers workplace information on accommodating and communicating about episodic disabilities

Accommodating and Communicating about Episodic Disabilities (ACED), a five-year partnership led by the Institute for Work & Health (IWH), is developing evidence-based workplace resources to support the sustained employment of people with chronic, intermittent and often-invisible disabilities, such as depression, arthritis, HIV/AIDs, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, multiple sclerosis and more. IWH launched a website today to share information about the ACED project, the partners involved, and the findings and tools as they become available. The ACED website also includes information on how stakeholders can take part, including a call for workers with episodic disabilities to help pilot-test a tool to foster discussion and problem-solving with supervisors and managers about needs for workplace supports.

Go to the ACED website

Learn more about the pilot-test

Despite pain and fatigue, older workers with chronic conditions in no hurry to retire: study

Having a health condition or a chronic disease can be challenging for older workers, but it doesn’t necessarily decrease their intention to work or hasten their retirement. According to an IWH study on retirement expectations, with appropriate policies and practices, older workers with health limitations can be supported to remain active in the labour force.

Read the article

World Congress 2020 now accepting presentation proposals

Do you have innovations, success stories or lessons learned to share with the global community of OHS professionals and decision-makers? Submit your presentation proposals now to the XXII World Congress on Safety and Health at Work, taking place October 4-7, 2020 in Toronto. (IWH is a national co-host of the Congress, along with the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety.) The deadline for presentation abstracts is December 15, 2019.

See the World Congress 2020 call for abstracts

Nachemson lecture not taking place this year

It’s usually around this time of year that we promote our Alf Nachemson Memorial Lecture. However, the annual fall lecture, hosted by the Institute, is not being held this year or next. That’s because it’s “all hands on deck” at IWH as we co-host the 2020 World Congress on Safety and Health at Work. The congress will be a rare opportunity to engage with, and learn from, OHS thought leaders from around the globe in our own backyard.

Get details about World Congress 2020

IWH Speaker Series presentation: Trends in depression and anxiety among Canadian labour market participants (2000-2016)

Despite much effort aimed at improving the mental health of Canadians, we still know little about the prevalence of two common mental health conditions across the working population. In an October 22 IWH Speaker Series presentation, Institute Research Associate Kathleen Dobson shares her doctoral research exploring trends in depression and anxiety disorders among working-age Canadians, from 2000 to 2016.

Sign up to attend

During Global Ergonomics Month, use and share our MSD prevention resources

October is Global Ergonomics Month—a time to raise awareness about musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), one of the top drivers of work-related injuries in Canada. To mark the month, we’ve posted a new whiteboard video on reasons to take a participatory approach to injury reduction in the long-term care sector. The video is the product of an IWH study evaluating the implementation of a Public Services Health and Safety Association participatory MSD prevention program. For related research findings and resources on ergonomics, see our MSD Prevention, Participatory Ergonomics and other related topic pages.

Watch the video

Go to our topic pages

Ontario Minister of Labour Monte McNaughton (left) and CRE-MSD Director Dr. Jack Callaghan

CRE-MSD conference on MSD Prevention Guide kicks off Global Ergonomics Month

Ontario Minister of Labour, the Honourable Monte McNaughton, launched Global Ergonomics Month in Toronto during opening remarks at a conference hosted by the Centre of Research Expertise for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders (CRE-MSD) on October 1. Before the 250 people in attendance, the Minister also announced funding to help keep the MSD Prevention Guideline up to date. The conference featured stakeholders’ experiences using the guideline in the year since it was launched, highlighting new resources and the new Office Quick Start Guide.

See the MSD Prevention Guidelines

Burden of Occupational Cancer in Canada: a new report from OCRC

The Occupational Cancer Research Centre (OCRC) has released a report titled Burden of Occupational Cancer in Canada: Major Workplace Carcinogens and Prevention of Exposure. The report provides estimates of occupational exposure and the associated burden of cancer by industry, as well as exposure reduction strategies and policy recommendations for the most common occupational carcinogens in Canada. According to the report, exposure to cancer-causing agents in the workplace is estimated to cause about 10,000 cancers in Canada each year. The report focuses on the 13 occupational carcinogens responsible for the bulk of these.

Get the report

CREOD Research Flash examines daily impact of exposure to vibration

We know that workers exposed to hand-transmitted vibration can develop a chronic occupational disease called hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS). While we have made progress in diagnosing HAVS, we still know little about its impact on workers’ daily lives. A study by the Centre for Research Expertise in Occupational Disease (CREOD) examines the multifaceted social and psychological ramifications of this serious disability. This knowledge is important to help health-care providers and their patients maximize functional abilities and, ultimately, quality of life.

Read the CREOD Research Flash (PDF)

For more information, please contact

Cindy Moser
Communications Director
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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