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

IWH News

March 2020

Message from the President:
IWH and COVID-19

At the Institute for Work & Health (IWH), we have this week implemented a number of workplace social distancing measures. Most of us are working remotely for at least the next three weeks. We have cancelled events scheduled to take place in the near term. We are conducting all meetings virtually.

We know we are in the fortunate position of being able to work remotely. To the health-care workers, emergency service providers, airline and transit personnel, retail employees and others on the front lines, we thank you wholeheartedly for your important work.

You will continue to hear from us through our newsletters, website and social media channels. In the meantime, we wish you the best in these difficult times. Stay safe and be well.

Dr. Cameron Mustard
President, Institute for Work & Health

IWH postpones upcoming forum on newcomers and safety

In light of COVID-19, the Institute is postponing the Safe Work Integration of Newcomers Forum, originally scheduled to take place March 30. We continue to monitor updates from public health officials regarding other events due to take place in the spring. They include the annual Systematic Review Workshop, scheduled for mid-May, as well as future IWH Speaker Series presentations. Please check our Events and What’s New webpages for the latest updates.

Go to our What’s New page

Poorer post-injury experiences lead to worse RTW outcomes for psychological claimants

Workers’ compensation claimants with work-related psychological injuries report poorer experiences and interactions throughout the return-to-work (RTW) process. According to an IWH study conducted in Australia, these experiences are interconnected, leading to longer time off from work.

Read about the study

Many workers with physical injuries also have untreated mental health problems: study

The same IWH study above finds three in 10 workers with a workers’ compensation claim for a work-related physical injury also experience a serious mental health condition. However, a minority of these workers receive treatment for their mental health issues.

Read the study summary

Dr. Basak Yanar joins rank of IWH scientists

Congratulations to Dr. Basak Yanar, who was recently promoted from research associate to associate scientist at the Institute. Yanar has been leading research on the working conditions of newcomers to Canada. One of her current projects examines the role of employers, settlement service providers and the occupational health and safety (OHS) prevention system in promoting safe work among new immigrants.

Read Dr. Basak Yanar’s bio

Watch slidecasts of past IWH Speaker Series presentations

If you’ve missed any of our IWH Speaker Series presentations or want to see them again, watch our slidecasts. In our newest slidecasts, Dr. Avi Biswas shares tips on integrating wellness and OHS activities, and Dr. Nancy Carnide compares use of cannabis at work—and worker attitudes about it—before and after the legalization of recreational cannabis in 2017.

See other past presentations

At Work Winter 2020 is now out

In the Winter 2020 issue of At Work, read about a pan-Canadian strategy launched for greater workforce inclusion of people with disabilities. Learn how an eight-item questionnaire can pick up on real-world differences in OHS practices. And see at a glance the projects IWH researchers are tackling next, thanks to external grants approved between October 2018 and December 2019.

Read the issue

Adverse outcomes of work-related exposure to whole body vibration: CRE-MSD webinar

Learn about the adverse health and safety outcomes of work-related exposure to whole body vibration. Find out how reducing whole body vibration can benefit both the health and safety of vehicle operators and companies’ bottom lines. On March 25, join a webinar by Dr. Peter Johnson of the University of Washington’s School of Public Health, hosted by the Centre of Research for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders (CRE-MSD).

Register now

For more information, please contact

Cindy Moser
Director of Communications
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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