Impact case studies

In order to gauge the impact of its research, the Institute for Work & Health tracks and reports on the uptake, use and effects of its research by stakeholders within the occupational health and safety, disability prevention and workers’ compensation systems—largely in Ontario, but also in other jurisdictions in Canada and around the world. This tracking and reporting is done according to a research impact model developed by the Institute. Case studies that illustrate impact are a key feature of the model, and they are included here, from the most recent to the oldest.
A New Zealand construction worker holding papers looking off-camera with a city skyline behind

Construction safety org adapts IWH research messages for tradesworker audience

A key program from Construction Health and Safety New Zealand—developed using IWH research—takes a participatory ergonomics approach to better prevent and manage musculoskeletal injuries among construction workers.
Roofers Tied Off with Nail Gunbooth IHSA

IWH evaluation of the effectiveness of the Ontario working-at-heights training standard

An IWH study on the effectiveness of Ontario's mandatory training was helpful to the labour ministry in several ways—including in reinforcing the value of program evaluations.
A worker drives a forklift in a lumber mill

Following reports by IWH and others, B.C. amends the law to strengthen protections against claim suppression

After an IWH study filled a research gap on claim suppression in B.C. and helped make the case for change, the province amended legislation to strengthen protections against the practice.
hands raised in training session

Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba uses IWH research to update its “Return to Work Basics” workshop

When the Workers Compensation Board of Manitoba decided to update its return-to-work training, it wanted to build confidence in the content by including evidence-based guidance from trusted sources. For a key part of the workshop, it turned to the Institute for Work & Health's "Seven Principles."
Construction work on the new Victoria Bridge in downtown Saskatoon

Saskatchewan’s construction safety group uses IWH’s safety culture tool to measure OHS among member employers

When the Saskatchewan Construction Safety Association went looking for a tool to measure the OHS performance of its members firms, it turned to the Institute's easy-to-use, eight-item safety culture measure—the IWH-OPM.
A Newton's cradle, made up of crumpled paper in different colours, drawn to look like lightbulbs

Research institutes in Australia, Europe, U.S. build on IWH’s impact model

IWH’s Research Impact Model, developed in 2010 to guide the Institute's thinking about its impact, has resonated with other work-health research organizations and informed how they assess the impact of their work.
Closeup of hands around documents and a laptop in a business meeting

IWH recommendations contribute to enhancement of the WSIB’s Health and Safety Index

When the WSIB decided to revisit the methods behind the Health and Safety Index, two IWH researchers provided advice on areas where the index could be improved. In October 2021, the HSI was revised, incorporating many of the suggestions provided by IWH.
Excellence written on road way

WSIB includes Institute safety culture tool in Health and Safety Excellence Program

Ontario's Workplace Safety and Insurance Board made a modified version of an Institute safety culture tool called the IWH-OPM available to firms as a voluntary component of participating in its Health and Safety Excellence Program.
Stone arches and stain glass windows in the interior of the Canadian Parliament

IWH researchers help MPs examine episodic disabilities and work issues

IWH senior scientists presented expert testimony to a federal standing committee looking at the needs of people with episodic disabilities—an example of how research can support policy-makers in addressing important societal issues.
Male worker removing carpet

IWH review findings add consistency to osteoarthritis-related advice offered by WorkSafeBC medical advisors

The findings of an Institute for Work & Health systematic review on the association between osteoarthritis and work are being used by WorkSafeBC's medical advisors, contributing to more consistency in claims adjudication.
A group of workers in yellow safety helmets stand in an underground mine

Ontario Mining Association endorses safety climate and assessment audit tool

A tool designed to measure "two sides of the coin"—OHS systems and culture—developed by Workplace Safety North with IWH expertise, has been endorsed by Ontario's mining association, and now is in demand well beyond the province and the sector.
Graphic of gears indicating meshing of workplace and culture

Safety culture framework in Manitoba incorporates IWH expertise, tools

SAFE Work Manitoba incorporated IWH expertise and tools into the framework of its ambitious safety culture initiative, which aims to make workplace injury prevention a genuine priority among all segments of the population across the province.
Stylized photo of executive showing improvement over time on graph

Integrating return-to-work principles in an occupational medicine service

An occupational medicine assessment service integrated two of the return-to-work supports (enhanced coordination and communication) outlined in IWH's evidence-based Seven Principles guide, contributing to a significant improvement in the duration of wage replacement benefits among injured workers with problematic musculoskeletal disorders.
Sign on asbestos remove site warning of cancer and lung disease hazard due to asbestos exposure

IWH research raises awareness of the economic burden of asbestos-related disease as Canada commits to ban

An IWH study estimating the lifetime cost of newly diagnosed cases of mesothelioma and lung cancer due to work-related asbestos exposures in a single year garnered much media and public interest, and was cited by Canadian government in its analysis of the impact of its regulation banning asbestos.
Workers of various ethnicities pose happily with their work team

Concerns about newcomers’ safety at work lead organizations to IWH toolkit

Organizations working with recent immigrants are incorporating parts of the Institute's toolkit for teaching newcomers about workplace health and safety into their programming. Organizations in Ontario, Alberta, Northwest Territories and Nunavut, and even as far away as Australia, say the resource is just what they were looking for.
Young couple working at their small woodworking business

IWH model on breakthrough change used as foundation for WSPS small business strategy

An Ontario health and safety association, Workplace Safety and Prevention Services, turned to the Institute's model of breakthrough change to inform its approach to small business, especially the concept of finding the "knowledge transformation leader" within a small business to advocate for occupational health and safety change.
Rehabilitation centre in a developing country

WHO guidelines on rehabilitation in health systems informed by IWH systematic reviews

When the World Health Organization released its evidence-based guideline to help primarily low- and middle-income countries develop, extend equitably deliver rehabilitation services, it relied on evidence synthesized by an IWH research team for five of the guideline's nine recommendations.
Illustraion of a crane dropping in the number seven into place among a row of numbers

Seven “principles” used in return-to-work policies and practices

When Ontario legislated in 1997 that employers and workers cooperate in the early and safe return to work of injured workers, the workplace parties were looking for guidance. They found it in the Institute for Work & Health's evidence-based Seven "Principles" for Successful Return to Work, one of the most popular and widely used guides developed by the Institute.
A smiling doctor consults with a patient at her desk

WSIB integrates prognostic information in improved return-to-work case management services

Four factors that predict how long injured workers will remain off work are incorporated into new case management model at Ontario's Workplace Safety and Insurance Board.
Management and workers at K-W Hydro share a chat

Reduced soft-tissue injuries at Ontario utility attributed to work by ergonomics team set up during IWH study

Ten years after it took part in a participatory ergonomics study, Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro's change team was still going strong.
Lee-Anne Lyon-Bartley at Carillion Canada

OHS leader Carillion Canada uses IWH’s vulnerability measure to identify areas for continuous improvement

Despite a strong OHS record, construction and facilities management company sees benefit of learning more through use of IWH's OHS Vulnerability Measure.
Sawmill in B.C.

IWH eight-item tool helping WorkSafeBC assess workplace cultures, interact with employers

The IWH Organizational Performance Metric (IWH-OPM) helps WorksafeBC act on a review recommendation to assess safety culture in the province's workplaces.
Worker with hammer works on roof frame

Ontario prevention system adopts IWH conceptual framework for OHS vulnerability

A new way of thinking about "vulnerable workers" makes inroads with Ontario's Ministry of Labour and its partners.
Office cleaner with back turned

Ontario intends to make client employers liable for injury-related cost of temporary agency workers

With regulatory change, Ontario's Ministry of Labour addresses gap in experience rating system after IWH study shows temp workers falling through the cracks.
Young workers at service counter

Ontario prevention system shifts risk-of-injury emphasis from “young workers” to “new workers”

New workers are in the spotlight after IWH research show workers are at much greater risk of injury in the first month of the job.
Group of executives meet in boardroom

IWH leading indicator tool wins over advocates across Canada

The eight-item IWH-OPM is used in several provinces to strengthen safety performance in workplaces.
Inspector goes over checklist at construction site

OSHA says IWH review confirms effectiveness of OHS enforcement

Why the U.S. federal agency OSHA cites IWH research to bolster changes in its approach to enforcement.

The growing use and application of IWH’s DASH Outcome Measure

Researchers and clinicians alike have embraced the 20-year-old measure that assesses function and disability among people with upper extremity musculoskeletal disorders.
Close-up of fingers opening window blinds to let sun in

WSIB work reintegration program improves outcomes, lowers costs

Study by IWH "points us in the right direction," says former WSIB exec.
Co-workers strategize at table with sticky notes

Leading indicators and benchmarking key to growing success for property management company

Brookfield Johnson Controls turns to the IWH-OPM after deciding to shift focus away from lagging indicators.

WSIB narcotics strategy reducing harm and spending

IWH opioid and chronic pain expert, Dr. Andrea Furlan, helps shape new rules in her role on drug advisory committee.
open journal in library

Evidence-based service delivery model at WSIB improved return-to-work outcomes

A new case management system for delivering services to injured workers and employers in Ontario leads to improved return-to-work outcomes.
Close-up of hands rifling through hanging file folders

Manitoba takes measures to address claims suppression, review assessment rate model

IWH conference on experience rating and financial incentives helps shape review of claims suppression.
Boats in icy New Brunswick harbour

WorkSafeNB adopts IWH’s tool to benchmark health and safety

Institute expertise tapped to evaluate agency's safety perception tool--and to provide a better alternative.
Young man does sanding work at machine

WCB adapts toolkit for newcomers to Manitoba context

The toolkit, called Prevention is the Best Medicine, hopes to bridge the knowledge gap among newcomers of OHS and workers' compensation issues.
Overhead shot of welding workers

MOL broadens strategy for identifying poor OHS performers

IWH evaluation of high risk firm program confirms need for a redesign.
Man stretches at computer work station

CAMH improves office ergonomics through IWH online training program

A piloted training program was so successful it's now offered to all staff at this hospital and research centre.
Older man works in print shop

WSIB introduces new work reintegration program

Research by IWH scientist describes problems with previous program and suggests way forward.
Faceless doctor holds opioids in hands

IWH expertise key to opioid guideline, tool development

Work on Canadian opioid guideline in turn leads to development of opioid management tool and helps launch IWH scientist's profile as opioid expert.
Close-up of calculator and pen

SIEF amendments reduce relieved benefit costs

An IWH analysis helps lead to creation of specialized SIEF adjudication team at Ontario's Workplace Safety and Insurance Board, resulting in millions in savings.
Window cleaners against mirrored skyscraper

Expert panel reshapes Ontario's OHS system

IWH scientists support the work of the Dean panel with "trusted" and "balanced" research and analysis.
Black and white image of a German public square

German MSD campaign incorporates IWH systematic review findings

Germany's social insurance authority regularly turns to systematic reviews from the Institute for Work & Health because of their quality and reliability.
Case manager discusses file with workplace parties

Ontario WSIB rolls out new service delivery model

Agency turns around rise of long-duration claims with a new model informed by IWH research.
Young worker serves ice cream

USW in Canada broadens young worker training

Union awareness program draws on IWH research findings to target all new workers–not just workers who are young.
Back of woman facing artwork at museum

WSIB launches anti-stigma initiative

Community research project involving injured workers identifies stigmatizing attitudes as a problem.
A man places a hand on his right shoulder

Ontario prevention system produces MSD toolkit

IWH joins system partners in the creation of the MSD Prevention Guideline, an essential resource for province's enforcement efforts.
A man draws process model

WSIB turns to IWH for its expertise in logic models

Institute scientists work with WSIB to provide ongoing evaluation of three important programs.
Nighttime image of Queen's Park

Auditor general report leads to hearings on WSIB unfunded liability

Report cites IWH research as important in identifying the need for change in WSIB's service delivery model.
Diverse group of adults sit at laptops in training room

Manitoba launches safety initiative for immigrants

Research by IWH team confirms for Manitoba the need to increase OHS awareness among newcomers.
Main street of an Ontario small town in sunset

Health and safety association uses regional injury rates to target services

Knowledge exchanges across the prevention system helps research findings reach front-line consultants and shape service delivery model.