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

IWH News

September 2020

IWH estimates role of work exposure in spread of COVID-19

What percentage of COVID-19 infections in Ontario were associated to exposure at work during the first six months of the pandemic? Despite important gaps in information, we can make an educated guess using two provincial data sources, writes the Institute for Work & Health (IWH) President and Senior Scientist Dr. Cameron Mustard.

Read the column

Reducing silica dust exposure in construction: how different methods compare

Workplace exposure to silica dust is responsible for 570 cases of lung cancer in Canada a year—the majority of them among construction workers. Construction worksites can use different methods to reduce silica dust exposure, but which should they opt for? An economic analysis led by IWH offers guidance based on the costs and benefits of the different methods.

Find out more

For Falls Awareness Week, check out new paper on Ontario’s working-at-heights training standard

Safety advocates are marking Falls Awareness Week in Ontario and taking part in the week-long Stand Down to Prevent Falls in Construction event in the United States. There’s no better time to read about the effectiveness of Ontario’s working-at-heights training standard. Findings from the first phase of an IWH study on the standard are now published in the Journal of Safety Research. (The entire issue will soon be freely available for six months.) Results from the study are also outlined in a new research summary. Watch this space for further results from this study, which followed up two years later to assess the ongoing effectiveness of the training.

Read the summary

World Congress special sessions on COVID-19 and OSH to take place October 5-6

Register now for two half-day special sessions on COVID-19 and occupational safety and health (OSH), offered by the organizers of the 2021 World Congress on Safety and Health at Work, including IWH. On October 5, the first of the two virtual events will feature thought-leaders discussing innovations in addressing COVID-19 in the workplace, how the future of work is being shaped by the global pandemic and the relevance of promoting a culture of prevention to address COVID-19. On October 6, the International Labour Organization (ILO) will discuss its work in helping member countries develop OSH policies, regulations and programs related to COVID-19. The International Safety and Security Association (ISSA) will address the response of work injury insurance providers to pandemic outbreaks and other extreme events. Registration is now open.

Find out more

IWH Speaker Series returns, first with a presentation on newcomers and work safety

After an extended break due to COVID-19, the IWH Speaker Series is back—this time online only. The new season kicks off on October 13, with a presentation by IWH Associate Scientist Dr. Basak Yanar. She discusses research findings on the safe work integration of newcomers, the perspectives of employers and the experiences of immigrant-serving organizations. To find out more and to register, visit the IWH Speaker Series page.

Find out how to register

Disability and Work in Canada 2020 call for proposal now open

The Disability and Work in Canada 2020 (DWC 2020) Conference will be held virtually this year over four days in late November and early December. Organizers are accepting proposals for different types of sessions from the disability community, businesses, unions, policy-makers, service providers and other interested parties. The conference is jointly hosted by the Centre for Research on Work Disability Policy, a research partnership housed at IWH. The call is open until Friday, September 25.

Go to the conference page

Read the Summer At Work

In case you missed it, the Summer 2020 issue of At Work is out. You’ll find articles on the challenges faced by organizations when supporting workers with episodic disabilities, the factors linked to the under-reporting of work injuries, and more.

See the issue

CRE-MSD kicks off Ergonomics Month with multiple webinar series

Emergency service responders and health-care workers often face physically demanding tasks, including lifting and moving people and objects in unpredictable and unmodifiable settings. To mark Global Ergonomics Month in October, the Centre of Research Expertise for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders (CRE-MSD) offers a series of webinars on the effectiveness of manual handling training for injury prevention and management. Go to the CRE-MSD events page for details about this series, as well as a graduate researcher webinar series offered jointly with the Association of Canadian Ergonomists.

Go to the CRE-MSD events page

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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