HR researcher and consultant Graham Lowe saw IWH grow over 10 years as scientific advisor

Over the 10 years Graham Lowe has been a member of the Institute for Work & Health (IWH)’s Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC), he has seen the Institute evolve its research agenda to keep ahead of the emerging trends in work and health.

The Institute has grown and matured and positioned itself as a global leader in research and thinking on workplace health and safety, says Lowe, president of The Graham Lowe Group Inc., a Kelowna, B.C.-based workplace consulting and research firm. It’s just been steady progress every year.

In keeping with the SAC’s three-term limit, Lowe vacated his seat on the committee after this year’s meeting in May. The SAC is a 12-member advisory group that meets every year to offer feedback to the Institute on its research themes and direction.

Lowe points to research on vulnerable workers as an example of IWH staying current. IWH now has significant knowledge about the risks of vulnerable labour market positions and can provide policy-relevant advice on how the occupational health and safety system can better address the needs of this growing segment of the labour force, he says.

Another example of the Institute leading the way relates to the framework of disability policy in the country, says Lowe. He remembers an SAC meeting several years ago where there was general agreement that the current framework, put together decades ago, no longer meets the needs of a large portion of the workforce.

Fast forward to the most recent SAC meeting, where Lowe and other SAC members were pleased to hear of a new initiative by IWH researchers to head up an extensive research program on disability policy. The program includes the creation of a Centre for Research on Work Disability Policy that will examine and make policy recommendations on Canada’s work disability system. Just to see that kind of project evolve over the years has been incredibly impressive, says Lowe.

A member of the SAC since 2004, Lowe brought extensive research and consulting expertise on human resource development, organizational change and performance, labour market trends and employment policy to the committee. Graham Lowe is one of the most respected and trusted advisors to Canadian human resource professionals of his generation, as well as an outstanding and original researcher, says Dr. Cameron Mustard, president of the Institute for Work & Health.

We have been so very fortunate to have had the benefit of his enthusiastic, constructive and precise advice over the past 10 years — advice that has consistently predicted the important trends in employment arrangements and working conditions in the Canadian labour market, Mustard adds. We owe Graham a great debt.

Source: At Work, Issue 73, Summer 2013: Institute for Work & Health, Toronto