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

IWH News

November 2020

Second study shows workplace COVID-19 safety measures linked to worker mental health

Adequate personal protective equipment and infection control measures are important to essential workers outside of the health-care sector—and not just for preventing COVID-19 transmission. As they did in their study of health-care workers, the Institute for Work & Health (IWH) and Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW) found levels of anxiety and depression were higher among non-health-care workers who felt they lacked COVID-19 protection on the job. This more recent study, conducted in the spring of 2020, even found poorer mental health among essential workers who said they had no protection at work than among those who had lost their jobs since the start of the pandemic.

Read about the latest study or watch the slidecast

COVID-19 challenges, opportunities for OHS and social security highlighted at global session

Last month, the global community of occupational health and safety (OHS) and social security policy-makers gathered online to discuss challenges and lessons learned as countries respond to the COVID-19 pandemic emergency. Highlights of the October 5-6 special session, held by the organizers of next fall’s XXII World Congress on Safety and Health at Work 2021, are summarized in At Work.

Read the article

Having both depressive symptoms and arthritis associated with greater risk of work disability

One in 20 working-aged people in the United States have depressive symptoms. Among those who have arthritis, however, that number is one in eight. That’s according to an IWH study conducted with a nationally representative sample of the U.S. population. The study also found people with both arthritis and depressive symptoms have lower chances of working than people with arthritis alone.

Read the study summary

November 24 webinar: Does it matter why workers reveal their episodic disabilities?

How do people with episodic disabilities decide whether to disclose their health conditions to their employers? After all, for many of them, symptoms can be hidden from view, and disabling episodes can be temporary. In an IWH Speaker Series presentation on November 24, Senior Scientist Dr. Monique Gignac shares findings from her study examining participants’ reasons and goals for disclosing. She also explores whether their motives matter to the work supports they receive.

Register for the webinar

CRE-MSD adds new resources to the MSD Prevention Guideline website

Three new posters have been added to the MSD Prevention Guideline, updated and maintained by the Centre of Research Expertise for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders (CRE-MSD). The posters were developed as part of CRE-MSD’s webinar series aimed at first responders and health-care workers on training for manual materials handling tasks that can’t be modified. They outline body position dos and don’ts for the knee, low back and shoulder.

See the MSD Prevention Guideline

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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