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Logo for World Congress on Safety and Health at Work 2021
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XXII World Congress on Safety and Health at Work now taking place in September 2021

In light of public health guidance regarding COVID-19, the International Organizing Committee (IOC) of the XXII World Congress on Safety and Health at Work has made the difficult decision to postpone the event, which will now take place September 19 – 22, 2021. The good news is that the Congress will still take place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in the heart of downtown Toronto, Canada, exploring the Congress theme Prevention in the Connected Age: Global solutions to achieve safe and healthy work for all. The Congress is also being expanded to include virtual options, including live streaming to facilitate further global engagement.

Given the impact of COVID-19 on workplaces around the world, the IOC has also decided to convene a virtual meeting of global thought leaders focused on COVID-19 on October 5, 2020. More information about this meeting and how to participate will be posted to the Congress website in the coming weeks.

a computer workstation next to a children's tent fort
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Setting up a temporary home office in a time of social distancing

Working at home in the middle of a COVID-19 pandemic means having no time and little opportunity to set up ergonomically sound workstations. So what can office workers do to make their kitchen table workspaces as comfortable as possible? We turn to Dr. Dwayne Van Eerd, who co-led the development of eOfficeErgo, for advice.

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Dr. Basak Yanar joins rank of IWH scientists

Congratulations to Dr. Basak Yanar, who was recently promoted from research associate to associate scientist at the Institute. Yanar has been leading research on the working conditions of newcomers to Canada. One of her current projects examines the role of employers, settlement service providers and the occupational health and safety (OHS) prevention system in promoting safe work among new immigrants.

A hard hat, placed next to a check list, against a black background
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Can an eight-item questionnaire pick up on real-world differences in OHS practice?

How well can a set of eight questions capture something as broad and multi-faceted as an organization’s occupational health and safety (OHS) policies and practices? An Institute for Work & Health (IWH) team conducted interviews and worksite visits at organizations that had completed the eight-item leading indicator tool, called the IWH-Organizational Performance Metric. It found consistent patterns in how high- and medium-scorers approach OHS.

Japanese craftsperson stands in front of his workstation, smiling
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What helps workers with MSDs, pain or mental health conditions return to work?

What workplace-based interventions are effective in helping workers with musculoskeletal disorders, pain and/or mental health conditions return to work (RTW)? What does the research literature say about the effectiveness of case management, work hardening, physician training and other practices on RTW outcomes? Our new Sharing Best Evidence summarizes findings of a systematic review.

Close-up of Euro bill and map of Europe
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IWH Speaker Series: Estimating the value of OHS in five European countries

Estimates of the economic burden of work-related injuries and illnesses help policy-makers and other stakeholders in occupational health and safety (OHS) set priorities. In a recent European Agency for Safety and Health at Work project, IWH Senior Scientist Dr. Emile Tompa led a team to compile such estimates for five European Union countries: Germany, Poland, Finland, The Netherlands and Italy. On November 12, he shares findings and discusses the methods usedmethods that can serve as a template for economic burden estimates elsewhere.

Image of infographic on cannabis use and the Canadian workplace before legalization
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What were Canadian workers thinking about cannabis use before legalization?

One year ago today, non-medical cannabis was legalized in Canada. Four months before legalization, researchers from the Institute for Work & Health surveyed workers across Canada to find out about their use of, and beliefs about, cannabis at work. These researchers are surveying this same group of workers (and more) for three years post-legalization to find out if their use and beliefs are changing. Some of the findings from the pre-legalization survey are now available in an infographic.

Video image showing a hand drawing workers mopping up a wet surface
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New video looks at participatory ergonomics in long-term care

Front-line staff are the experts when it comes to spotting workplace musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) hazards and proposing solutions. That's the main idea behind an injury prevention approach called "participatory ergonomics." A new video outlines what we learned, thanks to a project with Public Services Health & Safety Association, about implementing this approach in the long-term care sector.

A bird's eye view of a construction work site
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Manitoba OHS dashboard lets companies compare themselves with the competition

Ever wonder how your company stacks up against your competitors on occupational health and safety (OHS) performance? Building construction companies in Manitoba can now do just that. Developed by IWH and the Construction Safety Association of Manitoba (CSAM), the INDICATOR dashboard and benchmark lets building construction employers in the province compare themselves against others of the same size, subsector or region on several OHS leading indicators. In a recent At Work article, IWH Senior Scientist Dr. Ben Amick explains how this benchmark stands out from the rest.

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Understanding the types of workplaces that offer both OHS and wellness programs

Research suggests that occupational health and safety (OHS) and health promotion programs provide greater benefits to workers’ overall health when they are integrated within an organization’s health and safety strategy. To learn about the types of workplaces where such integration might be easier to implement, a new IWH study set out to learn the common characteristics of Ontario workplaces that offer both. Findings are now summarized in a new Research Highlights.