Past events

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.

3 Mar 2020

IWH Speaker Series

Have cannabis use and perceptions about workplace use changed since legalization?

Nancy Carnide, Institute for Work & Health

Are workers using and thinking differently about cannabis at work now that the non-medical use of cannabis is legal? A team at the Institute for Work & Health led by Associate Scientist Dr. Nancy Carnide is answering this question through annual surveys of Canadian workers, asking about their use and understanding of, as well as their perceptions about, cannabis at work. In this presentation, Dr. Carnide shares early results from her comparison of workers’ pre- and post-legalization responses to questions about cannabis at work.

18 Feb 2020

IWH Speaker Series

Developing practical recommendations for integrating workplace safety and wellness initiatives

Aviroop Biswas, Institute for Work & Health

Workplace wellness programs that also emphasize occupational health and safety (OHS) activities can have greater benefits to the overall health and safety of workers than those that focus on OHS or individual behaviour change alone. When OHS and wellness efforts are coordinated and not in competition for organizational resources, they also benefit the broader organization. In this presentation, Dr. Avi Biswas draws on a recently concluded study to offer practical guidance to employers on integrating safety and wellness activities. He outlines findings of a review of existing research, cross-referenced with stakeholder insights, and highlights what matters most to workplaces when integrating safety and wellness initiatives.

4 Feb 2020

IWH Speaker Series

Introducing the new CSA standard for work disability management systems

Emile Tompa, Institute for Work & Health

Every year, tens of thousands of Canadians become disabled and are unable to work, thereby becoming excluded from the many health advantages of workforce participation. In response to the growing concerns about managing disability in the workplace, the CSA Group, in conjunction with the Centre for Research on Work Disability Policy (CRWDP) and Conestoga College, has developed a new standard called the Work Disability Management Systems Standard (CSA Z1011). In this presentation, CRWDP director and IWH Senior Scientist Dr. Emile Tompa highlights components of the standard, which sets out best practices on injury/illness rehabilitation, return-to-work plans, and accommodation of workers with disabilities.

28 Jan 2020

IWH Speaker Series

Capacity building and evaluation of OHS training in settlement agencies

Basak Yanar, Institute for Work & Health; Eduardo Huesca, Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers

Newcomers to Canada are at an increased risk of workplace injury and illness, due in part to a lack of knowledge about their rights and responsibilities in occupational health and safety (OHS). Settlement agencies are well-positioned to promote OHS awareness among newcomers, but some may lack the resources and capacity to do so. In this presentation, Institute for Work & Health (IWH)'s Dr. Basak Yanar joins Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW)'s Eduardo Huesca to talk about the development and delivery of the OHS capacity-building workshops for settlement agencies. They will share results of an evaluation capturing the experiences of service providers and newcomer clients, and discuss opportunities for Ontario’s OHS system partners to further support the settlement sector.

19 Nov 2019

IWH Speaker Series

Supporting hospital staff to manage aggressive patient behaviour: A randomized controlled trial

Dr. Lesley Wiesenfeld, Mount Sinai Hospital, Sinai Health System; Mavis Afriyie-Boateng, Mount Sinai Hospital, Sinai Health System; Carla Loftus, Mount Sinai Hospital, Sinai Health System

As in many other hospitals, staff at Toronto's Mount Sinai Hospital were experiencing high rates of workplace violence. In response, a multidisciplinary team developed a program to standardize practices for identifying and managing patients with aggressive behaviour. Given the dearth of evaluation studies on this type of workplace intervention, the team also set up a randomized controlled study on the program's effectiveness. They share results in this IWH Speaker Series presentation.

12 Nov 2019

IWH Speaker Series

Estimating the economic burden of work injuries and illnesses in the European Union

Emile Tompa, Institute for Work & Health; Amir Mofidi, Institute for Work & Health

Knowing the economic burden of work-related illnesses and injuries in a country can help policy-makers set priorities. In a recent project involving five European Union countries, Institute for Work & Health Senior Scientist and labour economist Dr. Emile Tompa, along with post-doctoral fellow Amir Mofidi, developed and executed a new framework for such an estimate. In this presentation, Tompa discusses the approach, its potential, as well as results of the five-country study.

5 Nov 2019

IWH Speaker Series

The effectiveness of COR in preventing work injury: lessons from Alberta and B.C.

Christopher McLeod, Institute for Work & Health

Certificate of Recognition (COR) programs are voluntary audits that recognize employers for having strong occupational health and safety (OHS) practices. In this presentation, IWH Scientist Dr. Chris McLeod shares his research in British Columbia and Alberta on the effectiveness of COR programs in preventing work-related injury.

22 Oct 2019

IWH Speaker Series

Trends in depression and anxiety among Canadian labour force participants (2000-2016)

Kathleen Dobson, Institute for Work & Health

Despite much effort aimed at improving the mental health of Canadians, we still know little about the prevalence of two common mental health conditions across the working population. In this presentation, IWH Research Associate Kathleen Dobson shares her doctoral research exploring trends in depression and anxiety disorders in the Canadian workforce, from 2000 to 2016. She also highlights the challenges in creating high-quality population-based evidence about the labour force’s mental health.

28 May 2019

IWH Speaker Series

The link between workplace injury and fatality risks and the use of substances affecting the central nervous system

Nancy Carnide, Institute for Work & Health

Prescription and recreational drugs that act on the central nervous system can have many adverse effects, including cognitive and psychomotor impairment. An IWH systematic review has looked into the link between workplace injury and fatality risks and the use of such substances—including opioids, benzodiazepines and cannabis. In this presentation, Dr. Nancy Carnide shares findings from that systematic review.

26 Feb 2019

IWH Speaker Series

Evaluating the implementation and effectiveness of Ontario’s working-at-heights training standards

Lynda Robson, Institute for Work & Health

In 2015, Ontario's Ministry of Labour implemented regulations defining working-at-heights (WAH) training program standards and establishing a program for approving training providers in the province. In this presentation, Dr. Lynda Robson shares findings from a study that examined the reach and effectiveness of the training standard.

4 Dec 2018

IWH Speaker Series

Assessing workplace training for skin exposure prevention

Linn Holness, Centre for Research Expertise in Occupational Disease

For almost 20 years, the Centre for Research Expertise in Occupational Disease has studied skin exposure prevention strategies, including worker training on this common hazard. In this presentation, Dr. Linn Holness shares research findings on training effectiveness, highlighting gaps, barriers and facilitators to training implementation.