Past events

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.

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. 

20 Sep 2022

IWH Speaker Series

What do workplaces need to know to help older workers stay on the job? A qualitative study of older workers’ disclosure decisions

Monique Gignac, Institute for Work & Health

Historic labour shortages are affecting every Canadian job sector. Many workers aged 50 years or more want to work longer, often beyond the traditional retirement age. However, we understand little about the different workplace support needs they may have and whether workers choose to share their needs with others—especially given the negative stereotypes that often surround older workers. In this presentation, Dr. Monique Gignac shares insights from her study on older workers’ workplace support needs and disclosure decisions. She highlights how workplaces can help older workers stay on the job, regardless of whether they disclose their needs.

14 Jun 2022

IWH Speaker Series

Is there an optimal daily movement pattern for heart health? A study of Canadian workers' activity tracker data

Aviroop Biswas, Institute for Work & Health

For optimal heart health, physical activity guidelines recommend that all adults exercise for at least 150-300 minutes a week at moderate intensity or for 75-150 minutes a week at vigorous intensity (or a combination of the two). Given the different ways that workers move at work and outside work, little is known as to whether certain patterns of daily movement are optimal for the heart health of Canadian workers. In this presentation, IWH Associate Scientist Dr. Avi Biswas shares findings from a recently completed study that identified the typical daily movement profiles of Canadian workers, using activity tracker data. He describes different groups of workers' typical movement patterns and their future heart disease risks. He also discusses whether any movement patterns present alternative strategies to the existing physical activity guidelines.

12 Apr 2022

IWH Speaker Series

The employment quality of persons with disabilities: findings from a national survey

Faraz Vahid Shahidi, Institute for Work & Health

Persons with disabilities face persisting inequities in the labour market arising from stigma, discrimination, and other structural barriers to employment. It is widely accepted that greater integration into the labour market could serve to promote the social and economic inclusion of persons with disabilities. But what happens when they are successful at integrating into the labour market? What kind of jobs do they get?

In this presentation, Dr. Faraz Vahid Shahidi shares findings from a recent nationwide survey examining the employment quality of persons with disabilities in Canada. He documents the nature and extent of employment inequities experienced by persons with disabilities, as well as the consequences of these inequities for support and accommodation in the workplace.

8 Mar 2022

IWH Speaker Series

Cannabis use and the risk of workplace injury: Findings from a longitudinal study of Canadian workers

Nancy Carnide, Institute for Work & Health

Does the use of cannabis increase a worker’s risk of having a workplace injury? Prior studies examining this issue have yielded mixed findings and have had some important methodological shortcomings. In this presentation, Dr. Nancy Carnide shares new findings from a longitudinal study of Canadian workers looking at the relationship between cannabis use and workplace injury—including workplace use.

8 Feb 2022

IWH Speaker Series

Development and implementation of a framework for estimating the economic benefits of an accessible and inclusive society

Emile Tompa, Institute for Work & Health

Despite progress to date, persons with disabilities still face discrimination and other barriers to full participation in society. What would be the economic benefits if these barriers are removed? Understanding the magnitude of the benefits can provide invaluable information to policy-makers, disability advocates and industry leaders as they consider the rewards of efforts to improve accessibility. In this presentation, IWH Senior Scientist Dr. Emile Tompa shares a framework his research team developed for estimating the economic benefits of an accessible and inclusive society. He also shares the results of the framework when implemented for the Canadian context. 

14 Dec 2021

IWH Speaker Series

What the future of work looks like to young people with disabilities

Arif Jetha, Institute for Work & Health

What do young people with disabilities think about when they weigh their job options and consider their career goals? Given the massive changes expected in the world of work—changes brought on by the rise of automation, digital technologies, new forms of work, among others—what barriers and opportunities do young people with disabilities perceive on the horizon? In this presentation, IWH Scientist Dr. Arif Jetha shares findings from his interview-based study of young adults with disabilities. He also discusses what support they need to meet the challenges and take advantage of the potential opportunities of a changing labour market.

9 Nov 2021

IWH Speaker Series

Uncovering the impact of a depressive episode on employment earnings of Canadian workers

Kathleen Dobson, Institute for Work & Health

Despite much attention being paid to the employment outcomes of Canadians experiencing depression, we still know little about the long-term impact of depression on their work earnings. In this presentation, IWH Associate Scientist Kathleen Dobson shares findings from her novel study using data linkages to uncover the impact of a depressive episode on employment earnings over a decade.

19 Oct 2021

IWH Speaker Series

Workplace COVID-19 protections and transmission: Findings from population-level data in Canada

Peter Smith, Institute for Work & Health

From the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, public health strategies to reduce the spread of the coronavirus recognized workplaces as a potential site of transmission. However, there remain large information gaps about workplace COVID-19 protection practices and COVID-19 transmission at work. In this presentation, Dr. Peter Smith shares findings from two recently completed studies from a collaboration between the Institute for Work & Health and Public Health Ontario. The first describes the type and prevalence of infection control practices at work sites that continued to operate. The second study estimates rates of COVID-19 cases due to workplace outbreaks across industry groups in Ontario between April 2020 and March 2021.

28 Sep 2021

IWH Speaker Series

Estimating the nature and extent of claim suppression in British Columbia's workers' compensation system

Ron Saunders, Institute for Work & Health; John O'Grady, Prism Economics and Analysis

To what extent are workers in British Columbia pressured or induced to not report or claim benefits for their work-related injuries and illnesses? A study on the nature and extent of claim suppression in B.C. was recently conducted by Institute for Work & Health and Prism Economics and Analysis. In this presentation, study co-leads Dr. Ron Saunders and John O'Grady share what they found.

8 Jun 2021

IWH Speaker Series

What can hospital emergency records tell us about the incidence of work-related traumatic injuries in Ontario?

Cameron Mustard, Institute for Work & Health

Every year, hospital emergency departments in Ontario treat an average of 100,000 cases of work-related injuries or illnesses. What can the records of these cases tell us about the reporting of work-related injuries and illnesses to Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB)? In this presentation, Dr. Cameron Mustard shares findings from research comparing WSIB claims data with records of hospital emergency department visits over a fifteen-year period (2004-2017).

11 May 2021

IWH Speaker Series

The health paradox of physically demanding work: What is it and should we be concerned?

Aviroop Biswas, Institute for Work & Health

Emerging research describes a physical activity paradox: physically demanding work characterized by heavy lifting, repetitive exertion and awkward body postures can increase a worker’s risk of cardiovascular conditions and mortality, going against our well-known understanding of the health benefits associated with regular physical activity during leisure time. Dr. Aviroop Biswas explains what we know so far about this physical activity paradox and shares findings from his own research about the paradox among Canadian workers.

6 Apr 2021

IWH Speaker Series

Differences in the return-to-work process for work-related psychological and musculoskeletal conditions: findings from an Australian cohort

Peter Smith, Institute for Work & Health

Many workers’ compensation agencies across Canada have begun accepting claims for chronic mental stress that results from work. In other jurisdictions where psychological claims have been accepted, such types of claims have been linked with greater costs and longer time off compared to physical claims. The potential reasons for these differences have not been well understood. In this IWH Speaker Series presentation, Dr. Peter Smith presents findings from a cohort study of 869 workers’ compensation claimants in the Australian state of Victoria. He highlights differences between the two groups of claimants (psychological and musculoskeletal) in their experiences of the claim and return-to-work processes, and discusses lessons for Canadian jurisdictions.

23 Feb 2021

IWH Speaker Series

Fragmentation in the future of work: Exploring the impact of the changing nature of work on vulnerable workers

Arif Jetha, Institute for Work & Health

The future of work is characterized by diverse social, technological, economic, environmental and political changes, including artificial intelligence and the automation of jobs, an aging workforce, climate change. These are expected to disrupt every industry, transform working conditions and affect the types and availability of jobs. Despite a growing discourse on the changing nature of work, there is a limited understanding of how the future of work will impact vulnerable labour market groups. In this presentation, Dr. Arif Jetha outlines nine major trends that may shape the future of work and have a specific impact on vulnerable workers.

2 Feb 2021

IWH Speaker Series

Ontario Life After Workplace Injury Study: What we've learned so far

Cameron Mustard, Institute for Work & Health

The Ontario Life After Workplace Injury Study (OLAWIS) is looking at the long-term health and labour market outcomes of workers disabled by work injury or illness after they are no longer receiving benefits or services from the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board. As part of the study, over 1,130 eligible claimants were interviewed at 18 months post-injury and asked about a wide range of factors, including their work status and income, physical and mental health, case manager and health-care provider interactions, and employer return-to-work support. In this presentation, Dr. Cameron Mustard shares what the researchers have learned so far about this group of injured workers.

12 Jan 2021

IWH Speaker Series

The union effect on safety in the ICI construction sector: a study update

Lynda Robson, Institute for Work & Health

A study conducted several years ago by the Institute for Work & Health found unionized companies in Ontario's institutional, commercial and industrial (ICI) construction sector had a lower rate of lost-time injury claims than their non-unionized counterparts, after accounting for other factors like company size. In this presentation, Dr. Lynda Robson shares an update of that study, using data from 2012-2018. She discusses whether the latest results support what's called a "union safety effect", and how findings vary by company size and types of construction work.

24 Nov 2020

IWH Speaker Series

Does it matter what workers’ reasons are for disclosing or not disclosing a disability at work? Why and how?

Monique Gignac, Institute for Work & Health

Deciding whether or not to disclose a disability to others at work is a complex consideration. People with many chronic mental and physical health conditions, often called episodic disabilities, experience times of relative wellness punctuated by intermittent periods of activity limitations. How do they decide whether or not to disclose their health conditions? In this presentation, Dr. Monique Gignac shares findings from her study examining participants' reasons and goals for disclosing—and whether these matter to work support outcomes.

10 Nov 2020

IWH Speaker Series

More than just COVID-19 prevention: Exploring the links between PPE, safe work protocols and workers' mental health

Peter Smith, Institute for Work & Health

We have heard a lot about the importance of personal protective equipment (PPE) and infection control procedures (ICP) in reducing workplace COVID-19 transmission. A new study, conducted jointly with the Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW), set out to explore their importance in protecting workers' mental health. In this presentation, Dr. Peter Smith shares results from two surveys, one conducted among health-care workers and the other among the broader Canadian workforce. The findings provide important insights into the additional benefits of adequate design and implementation of employer-based infection control practices—beyond reducing COVID-19 transmission.

13 Oct 2020

IWH Speaker Series

Safe work integration of newcomers: Employer perspectives

Basak Yanar, Institute for Work & Health

Employers play an important role in the safe and sustained work integration of immigrants and refugees in Canada. Despite this, we know little about employers’ expectations, experiences and challenges in relation to the hiring and retaining of newcomers. In this presentation, Dr. Basak Yanar shares insights gained through a recently completed project on the work integration of newcomers. She discusses the perspectives of employers, as well as the experiences of immigrant-serving organizations that work with employers in promoting safe and sustainable work integration.