OHS regulation and enforcement

The regulator’s role in setting and enforcing the adoption of basic standards is fundamentally important to ensuring the health, safety and fair treatment of workers and the productivity of workplaces. Therefore, it’s important for occupational health and safety (OHS) systems to know what will best achieve this. The Institute for Work & Health (IWH) conducts a wide range of research to help labour ministries, workers' compensation boards and other regulatory bodies (and those affected by them) understand where their limited time and money will be most effectively allocated to achieve fewer work-related injuries and illnesses.

Latest news and findings

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Building capacity in the settlement service sector to promote OHS awareness among newcomers

Newcomers to Canada are at 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). IWH was recently involved in a project focused on supporting settlement agencies to promote OHS awareness among newcomers. In an upcoming IWH Speaker Series presentation, IWH's Dr. Basak Yanar joins Eduardo Huesca of Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers (OHCOW) to talk about OHS capacity-building workshops for settlement agencies. They also discuss opportunities for Ontario’s OHS system partners to further support the settlement sector.

Sign up for the presentation
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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.

Sign up for the presentation
Image of infographic on cannabis use and the Canadian workplace before legalization

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.

Download the infographic
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World Congress 2020, a global forum on emerging OHS issues, coming to Toronto

Occupational health and safety (OHS) professionals, get ready to take a break from the day-to-day issues and take in the big picture. In a little over a year, the most forward-thinking OHS policy-makers and practitioners from around the globe will gather in Toronto for the XXII World Congress on Safety and Health at Work. With the theme "Prevention in the Connected Age," the October 4-7, 2020, event will be your chance to hear and share ideas about the OHS challenges and innovations coming over the horizon.  

Find out more
A lone roofing worker sits perched on top of a new being built

Ontario's mandatory working-at-heights training led to safer practices and reduced claims rates

Falls from heights are a significant occupational health and safety hazard. In 2015, Ontarios Ministry of Labour implemented a mandatory training program to better protect construction workers who work at heights. An evaluation study by a team at the Institute for Work & Health has found that the training had high uptake across the province. It also led to a decline in claims rates due to falls targeted by the trainingespecially among very small employers and construction subsectors with the most frequent fall injuries.

Read about the study