The Institute for Work & Health (IWH) “easily ranks” among the top five occupational health and safety research centres in the world and has made “remarkable progress” in advancing work-health knowledge over the past five years. These assessments were made by an international panel convened to evaluate the quality, relevance and impact of the Institute’s work from 2002 to 2006.
You’re riding on a public transit bus to work. As you look around the bus, you notice a poster of a man who’s holding up his hand that only has three fingers – his index finger and thumb are missing. The poster’s message underscores the importance of safe workplace practices.
Each year in Canada, the costs of disability arising from work-related causes – including workers’ compensation and health-care costs – exceed $6.7 billion. Despite the significant financial and social impacts of worker injury and illness, only a small fraction of Canadian researchers are dedicated to examining work disability prevention issues.
The 1986 nuclear power plant explosion in Chernobyl, Ukraine, which killed more than 30 workers and led to mass evacuations, holds a spot in history as the worst incident of its kind. The disaster led not only to improvements in how nuclear plants were run and regulated worldwide, but it also spawned the widespread use of the term “safety culture.” In the Chernobyl context, the safety culture was described as “deficient” in terms of the way the plant was managed and safety protocols were disregarded.
A study often begins with a simple question. Researchers are motivated to find answers to the question and add to the overall knowledge on a topic. However, once they publish their findings, you might hear other researchers say that they are sceptical of the results because they may be biased. What exactly are these researchers concerned about and why?