What's new

A woman in a wheelchair works from her home office
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Disability and Work in Canada conference videos are now available

The devastating impact of COVID-19 on employment for people with disabilities was a major theme at the annual Disability and Work in Canada conference, held late last year. But participants also heard about ongoing initiatives on strengthening income support, promoting workplace inclusion, measuring progress—and many others that make up a pan-Canadian strategy to improve paid employment opportunities for persons with disabilities. Conference videos are now available at the Centre for Research on Work Disability Policy conference page

A laptop with the word "webinar" on the screen
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Upcoming IWH Speaker Series presentation: Exploring differences between stress and musculoskeletal claims

Workers’ compensation boards in several provinces across Canada now recognize work-related chronic stress claims. In the state of Victoria, Australia, where such claims have been accepted for many years, differences are found between mental health and musculoskeletal claims in return-to-work outcomes and processes. In an IWH Speaker Series presentation on April 6, IWH Senior Scientist and Scientific Co-Director Dr. Peter Smith delves into the differences between these two types of claims and explores the lessons they may hold for Canada.

Silhouette of a row of hands holding their thumbs up against a dusky sky
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IWH announces this year’s Syme recipients

Congratulations to the four recipients of a 2021 S. Leonard Syme Fellowship in Work and Health. They are: Kathleen Dobson, University of Toronto; David Kinitz, University of Toronto; Jennifer Ritonja, Queen’s University; and Siobhan Saravanamuttu, York University. The Syme fellowships were established by IWH in 2002 to support early-career researchers who intend to study work and health.

A woman works at a laundry service
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Age, tenure raise risk of job precarity among workers with disabilities

Which groups of workers are at greater risk of working in precarious jobs? According to a new IWH study, among people with disabilities, older workers and workers with less tenure worker are those with higher risks.  

Cover image of At Work 103
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New issue of At Work now available

Inside the Winter 2021 issue:

  • Unionized firms have lower lost-time injury rates than non-unionized ones, according to a second IWH study in Ontario's industrial, commercial and institutional construction sector.
  • The differences between people who use cannabis at work and those who use, but never at work, are all related to the jobs people do or the work environments they're in.
  • The impact of the pandemic on people with disabilities was a dominant theme at the 2020 Disability and Work in Canada conference, but some participants also spoke of hope.
A pair of hands roll a cannabis joint
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What factors differentiate people who use cannabis at work and those who don't?

Job visibility. Supervisors willing to address on-the-job cannabis use. When examining the factors that set apart people who used cannabis at work from those who used cannabis but never on the job, researchers at IWH found some factors that were expected, including the factors mentioned above. But some of the factors they found were both surprising and hard to explain.

A female construction worker stands next to a steel girder
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New resource to help workplaces implement MSD prevention programs

Workplaces currently use a range of practices to prevent musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs)—from ergonomics training and workstation adjustments to work redesign. To help workplaces identify and implement appropriate prevention programs, a research team at IWH worked with partners in Newfoundland and Labrador to create a resource that draws upon the best available research evidence, integrated with practitioner expertise and stakeholder experiences. The resource is now available to download. 

Two women sharing a confidence at work
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Why people decide to disclose an episodic disability at work—and how that matters

Some of the most common chronic health conditions are episodic and invisible. As a result, people living with them often grapple with the complex decision of whether to tell their employers about their disability. A new study, led by IWH Senior Scientist Dr. Monique Gignac, looks at people’s reasons for disclosing or not. The findings shed light on how people’s reasons matter to the work support they subsequently receive.

Masked restaurant worker prepares take-out food orders
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Issue Briefing examines role of workplace COVID outbreaks in Ontario’s second wave

In the current second wave of COVID-19 in Ontario, workplace outbreaks—not including outbreaks in health-care, congregate living (e.g. correctional) and educational settings—represent slightly over five per cent of all cases among working-age adults, down from a high of 22 per cent in June. That’s according to an analysis by IWH Scientific Co-Director Dr. Peter Smith and President Dr. Cam Mustard, detailed in a new Issue Briefing.

Three construction workers smile for the camera
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The “union safety effect” in Ontario’s construction sector: study update

Five years ago, a study conducted by IWH compared work-related injury rates between unionized and non-unionized companies in Ontario’s institutional, commercial and industrial (ICI) construction sector. It found unionized companies had lower rates of lost-time injury claims than their non-unionized counterparts, after accounting for other factors like company size. Is this “union safety effect” still holding true? On Tuesday, January 12, Dr. Lynda Robson shared an update at an IWH Speaker Series presentation. The full report of that study is now available.