Past events

14 May 2024

IWH Speaker Series

Cannabis use and perceptions among Canadian workers after legalization 

Nancy Carnide, Institute for Work & Health

Cannabis use for non-medical purposes became legal in Canada in October 2018. Many jurisdictions have followed suit in recent years. Although several studies have examined post-legalization outcomes in select groups and in the general population, data among the working population is lacking. Early results from an IWH study of Canadian workers suggested little change occurred in the year after legalization. In this presentation, Dr. Nancy Carnide shares findings from four waves of data, examining cannabis use patterns and perceptions from 2018 to 2021.

20 Mar 2024

Other events

Opioids and Work: Evidence, Perspectives and Looking Ahead

This full-day workshop convenes work and health researchers, policy-makers (in health, labour and workers’ compensation), workers, employers and public health professionals. Hosted by the Institute for Work & Health and the Occupational Cancer Research Centre, this workshop aims to: share evidence on what is known about opioid-related harms among workers, hear diverse perspectives on the underlying contributors to the problem, work together to identify what workplace parties can do to be part of the solution, and determine what information is still needed to be able to fully understand and tackle the issue. 

19 Mar 2024

IWH Speaker Series

Understanding OHS motivations and needs in small businesses

Basak Yanar, Institute for Work & Health; Cameron Mustard, Institute for Work & Health

Small businesses bear a disproportionate share of serious work-related injuries and fatalities. They also experience challenges in implementing occupational health and safety (OHS) practices due to limited OHS resources and expertise. In this presentation, Dr. Basak Yanar and Dr. Cameron Mustard share findings from a study that interviewed small businesses enrolled in the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB)'s Health and Safety Excellence program. The presenters discuss small businesses’ motivations for participating in the program, their OHS needs and challenges, and their perceptions of the support they received as part of the program.

13 Feb 2024

IWH Speaker Series

Is precarious employment an occupational hazard?

Faraz Vahid Shahidi, Institute for Work & Health

Precarious employment has become more common in the Canadian labour market, as well as in the labour markets of other high-income countries. In this presentation, Dr. Faraz Vahid Shahidi examines the consequences of precarious employment for health and safety at work. Drawing on compensation claims data from the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board and labour force estimates from Statistics Canada, Dr. Shahidi asks whether workers exposed to precarious employment – such as temporary, part-time, and low-wage jobs – are more likely to experience an occupational injury or illness. As a further source of evidence, he also assesses the impact of precarious employment on the workplace transmission of COVID-19.

16 Jan 2024

IWH Speaker Series

Refining estimates of occupational exposures and risk of workplace COVID-19 transmission

Peter Smith, Institute for Work & Health

The COVID-19 pandemic shone a light on the importance of having accurate data on workplace exposure to infectious diseases. Efforts to estimate infection rates of COVID-19 during the public health emergency were hampered by inadequate information on key factors, such as whether an infected worker had worked from home or interacted with the public. In this presentation, Dr. Peter Smith shares results from a study that examined the risk of work-related COVID-19 infections. He discusses methods used by the team to combine data sources to take into account changes in labour market participation—including working from home—during different phases of the COVID-19 pandemic.

14 Nov 2023

IWH Speaker Series

The working life expectancy of Americans experiencing depression

Kathleen Dobson, Institute for Work & Health

Understanding the impact of depression on employment is critical to informing welfare, health, and social services policy. In this presentation, Dr. Kathleen Dobson discusses research on working life expectancy—that is, the number of years an individual can expect to work before permanently leaving the labour force. Dobson talks about the importance of working life expectancy, and shares novel findings from the U.S. about how different courses of depression throughout individuals’ working years impact their working life expectancy from age 30 to 60.

17 Oct 2023

IWH Speaker Series

Three scenarios of a future working world: Using strategic foresight to imagine and respond to a changing world of work for young adults living with a disability in Canada

Arif Jetha, Institute for Work & Health

Evolving social, technological, economic, environmental, and political forces are shaping all aspects of our working world. For young adults living with a disability who are entering and working their way up in the labour market, the changing nature of work can create both barriers and opportunities. In this presentation, Dr. Arif Jetha Jetha shares three scenarios or narratives describing the ways things might meaningfully change in the future for young adults with disabilities. He also discusses how these scenarios can be used to develop labour market policies and programs that respond to future needs and promote inclusion for young adults living with a disability.

19 Sep 2023

IWH Speaker Series

Is in-person training more effective than online training? Findings from a study of Ontario workers

Lynda Robson, Institute for Work & Health

How does in-person training compare with online training when it comes to knowledge gained and learner engagement? Does the effectiveness of the different training methods vary for different types of workers? In this presentation, Dr. Lynda Robson shares findings from a recent study of Ontario workers who took a Joint Health and Safety Committee (JHSC) certification course. She compares the effects of three methods of training—face-to-face training, instructor-led distance training and self-paced e-learning. She also examines the effects of worker characteristics, such as level of formal education and English as a first language, on training outcomes.

13 Jun 2023

IWH Speaker Series

Occupational patterns in opioid-related harms among Ontario workers

Nancy Carnide, Institute for Work & Health; Paul Demers, Occupational Cancer Research Centre

Surveillance systems that monitor opioid-related harms in Canada do not typically collect work information. Limited data on opioid overdose deaths in Canada point to construction and trades workers as the worker groups most affected by the overdose crisis; but we know little else. Through a collaboration between the Occupational Cancer Research Centre (OCRC) at Ontario Health and the Institute for Work & Health (IWH), a study team has expanded the Occupational Disease Surveillance System (ODSS) to include opioid-related harms. In this presentation, Dr. Nancy Carnide (IWH) and Dr. Paul Demers (OCRC) share findings that have emerged from this unique source of data on a large sample of formerly injured workers.

23 May 2023

IWH Speaker Series

Building on the past, looking to the future: Presenting the IWH Strategic Plan, 2023-27

Peter Smith, Institute for Work & Health

Social, technological, environmental, economic and political forces are reshaping workplaces, changing work exposures and affecting the ability of workers to sustain healthy and productive work. For policy-makers, employers and workers, the need has never been greater for reliable and impartial information to help guide the way forward. In this presentation, IWH President Dr. Peter Smith shares the Institute’s priorities and plans for the next five years. Smith will provide an overview of the priority areas for scientific activities at IWH, its plans for new and expanded knowledge transfer and exchange activities, and ways the Institute collaborates with a growing base of partners to build a work and health research ecosystem that responds to the challenges of today and tomorrow.

18 May 2023

Other events

Inclusive Design for Employment Access (IDEA) Launch

The Institute for Work & Health and McMaster University are launching  a six-year initiative called Inclusive Design for Employment Access (IDEA). IDEA aims to increase the employment of persons with disabilities in Canada by increasing the confidence and capacity of employers and workplaces to recruit, hire, accommodate, train and promote persons with disabilities.

28 Apr 2023

Other events

National Day of Mourning

Held April 28 every year, the National Day of Mourning is a day to remember all those who have lost their lives or suffered health consequences due to work hazards. Many of the Institute's partner organizations in the prevention system are marking the day by sharing stories or holding events.

18 Apr 2023

IWH Speaker Series

Skills development barriers for persons with disabilities and the promising practices to address them

Emile Tompa, Institute for Work & Health

According to Employment and Social Development Canada’s Skills for Success program, the nine key foundational and transferable skills needed to participate and thrive in learning, work, and life are adaptability, collaboration, communication, creativity and innovation, digital, numeracy, problem solving, reading, and writing. What do we know about the foundational and transferable skill levels and employment outcomes of persons with disabilities? In this presentation, Dr. Emile Tompa discusses what his team learned from the research literature and interviews with key stakeholders in the Canadian and international work disability policy system.

21 Mar 2023

IWH Speaker Series

Unveiling the JDAPT: A new interactive tool to identify work-related support strategies for workers with chronic conditions and disability

Monique Gignac, Institute for Work & Health

Many workers with chronic physical and mental health conditions struggle when deciding whether to seek support from their workplace. The Job Demands and Accommodation Planning Tool (JDAPT) is designed to help address the complexity of disclosure decisions. Developed as part of a large research partnership, the JDAPT is an online, interactive tool that guides users through a series of simple questions about their job demands, job tasks and working conditions. In this presentation, Dr. Monique Gignac describes the JDAPT tool, its development, as well as data from two studies on the tool. She discusses the JDAPT’s potential to help workers by focusing on work solutions, not medical diagnoses and symptoms.

14 Feb 2023

IWH Speaker Series

Estimating the financial benefits of OHS spending: a study of Ontario employers

Cameron Mustard, Institute for Work & Health; Basak Yanar, Institute for Work & Health

In high-income countries, employer spending on occupational health and safety (OHS) can be substantial. But what are the financial benefits of these expenditures? An Institute for Work & Health (IWH) team recently developed and applied a transparent methodology to estimate the return on investment (ROI) of OHS spending for Ontario employers. In this presentation, IWH Associate Scientist Dr. Basak Yanar and IWH Adjunct Scientist Dr. Cameron Mustard, also former IWH president and senior scientist, share the methodology they used to arrive at the ROI estimates in three important economic sectors: construction, transportation and manufacturing.

17 Jan 2023

IWH Speaker Series

Racial and ethnic inequities in the return-to-work of workers following an injury or illness: Findings from a systematic review

Arif Jetha, Institute for Work & Health; Faraz Vahid Shahidi, Institute for Work & Health

Research in the field of occupational health has consistently found evidence of racial inequities, with workers of colour facing more frequent, severe, and disabling injury and illness when compared to white workers. In this presentation, Dr. Arif Jetha and Dr. Faraz Vahid Shahidi describe findings from a recent systematic review of literature examining racial inequities in the return-to-work (RTW) process. They synthesize existing evidence which has focused on racial and ethnic inequities in the re-integration of injured or ill workers. They also discuss opportunities to address obstacles faced by workers of colour in RTW and provide recommendations for future research.

13 Dec 2022

IWH Speaker Series

Preventing falls from heights in construction: a long-term evaluation of Ontario's working-at-heights training standard

Lynda Robson, Institute for Work & Health

In 2015, the province of Ontario implemented a working-at-heights (WAH) training standard requiring most construction workers to take a specific day-long training in fall prevention. A 2019 study conducted by the Institute for Work & Health found the training had positive impact on construction workers' safety knowledge, work practices and injury rates. In this presentation, Dr. Lynda Robson shares new findings on the longer-term impact of the training, drawing on two additional years of follow-up data.

15 Nov 2022

IWH Speaker Series

Persistent pain: its role in work absence, health, and employment after a disabling work-related injury

Kathleen Dobson, Institute for Work & Health

Among working-aged adults, one of every six injuries that need medical attention are caused by work exposures, with over a third of these injuries leading to periods of work absence or disability. Chronic or persistent pain may occur after an injury. It is currently unclear how many workers experience persistent pain and how it impacts worker health and function, return to work and disability benefit expenditures. In this presentation, Dr. Kathleen Dobson shares findings from a study of Ontario workers experiencing a work-related injury or illness focusing on the prevalence of persistent pain, and its association with return-to-work outcomes.

3 Nov 2022

Alf Nachemson Memorial Lecture

A look back on the influence of IWH research on policy and practice in Ontario

Cameron Mustard, Institute for Work & Health

Dr. Cameron Mustard, the former president of the Institute for Work & Health (IWH), will reflect on research conducted at IWH during his two decades at its helm. He will also talk about the impact of IWH research on improving practices and policies that protect workers from occupational injury, illness and disability in Ontario.

18 Oct 2022

IWH Speaker Series

Return to work in Ontario police services: Current experiences and practices

Dwayne Van Eerd, Institute for Work & Health

What challenges do members of police services, both sworn officers and civilian staff, face in their recovery and return to work after a work injury?  In this presentation, IWH Scientist Dr. Dwayne Van Eerd shares what he heard from police members⁠—those who were injured as well as those supporting return-to-work⁠— in a qualitative study on return to work in Ontario police services. Using quotes and examples, he also offers suggestions on policies and practices that emerged from the data and that police services can implement to improve the return-to-work process.