Dr. Peter Smith

Senior Scientist
PhD, Institute of Medical Science, University of Toronto
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416-927-2027 ext. 2226

Dr. Peter Smith is a senior scientist at the Institute for Work & Health in Toronto. He also holds appointments as an associate professor in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto, and in the School of Population Health and Preventive Medicine at Monash University in Australia.

Smith has a master's in public health from the University of New South Wales, Australia, and a PhD from the Institute of Medical Science at the University of Toronto. In 2014, he was awarded a five-year Research Chair in Gender, Work and Health (2014-2018) from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). He is the former recipient of a CIHR New Investigator Award (2008-2013) and a Discovery Early Career Researcher Award from the Australian Research Council (2012-2014).

Smith has extensive experience conducting research related to work injury and its consequences using large population-based surveys and administrative workers' compensation data. His key research interests include: gender and sex differences in the relationship between work and the risk of chronic disease and work injury; labour market inequalities and their health-related outcomes; the labour market experiences of newcomers, older workers, younger workers and other vulnerable labour force subgroups; chronic illnesses and work injury; and trends in working conditions over time.

Photo of Peter Smith

“I don’t understand how people can think about health without thinking about work. Between our early 20s and our 60s – and later for some people – we spend most of our waking hours at work. It makes sense, then, that aspects of work must have an impact on different aspects of our health, both positively and negatively. That drives me to better understand what good work and bad work look like from a health and return-to-work perspective.” – Dr. Peter Smith


Evaluating the impact of mandatory awareness training on occupational health and safety vulnerability in Ontario. Funded by Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Ontario Ministry of Labour's Research Opportunities Program. Ongoing.
Improving processes for talking about and implementing work accommodations for people with chronic, episodic health conditions. Funded by Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada Signature Initiative. Ongoing.
Incidence of work-related aggression and violence in Canada. Funded by Ontario Ministry of Labour. Ongoing.


Lay AM, Kosny A, Aery A, Flecker K, Smith PM. The occupational health and safety vulnerability of recent immigrants accessing settlement services. Canadian Journal of Public Health. 2018 [Epub ahead of print]. doi:10.17269/s41997-018-0063-4.
Becher H, Dollard FM, Smith PM, Li J. Predicting circulatory diseases from psychosocial safety climate: a prospective cohort study from Australia. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2018;15(3):415.. doi:10.3390/ijerph15030415 .
Quinn MM, Smith PM. Gender, work, and health. Annals of Work Exposures and Health. 2018 [Epub ahead of print]. doi:10.1093/annweh/wxy019.
Biswas A, Smith PM, Alter DA. Is promoting six hours of standing an appropriate public health message?. European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. 2018;25(7):751-752. doi:10.1177/2047487318763430.

Interviews and articles

IWH Updates. At Work: Institute for Work & Health; No. 91, Winter 2018.
IWH study examines effect of Ontario’s mandatory OHS training on awareness . At Work: Institute for Work & Health; No. 89, Summer 2017.
Standing too long at work carries twice the risk of heart disease as sitting too long. At Work: Institute for Work & Health; No. 90, Fall 2017.
Study on prolonged standing and heart disease: Setting the record straight. At Work: Institute for Work & Health; No. 90, Fall 2017.