Dr. Peter Smith
Dr. Peter Smith is president and senior scientist at the Institute for Work & Health (IWH) in Toronto, and a professor in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto. Prior to moving into the president's role in January 2022, Smith was IWH's scientific co-director.
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. He is a former recipient of a New Investigator Award (2008-2013) from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR),a Discovery Early Career Researcher Award from the Australian Research Council (2012-2014), and a five-year CIHR Research Chair in Gender, Work and Health (2014-2018).
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 health; labour market inequalities and their health-related outcomes; 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.
“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
- Accommodating and Communicating about Episodic Disabilities (ACED): A partnership to deliver workplace resources to sustain employment of people with chronic, episodic conditions. Funded by Canadian Institutes of Health Research and Social Sciences & Humanities Research Council of Canada Signature Initiative. Ongoing.
- Artificial intelligence and occupational injury and illness in Ontario: implications for prevention and recovery. Funded by Workplace Safety and Insurance Board. Ongoing.
- Cannabis and workplace fatalities: establishing a baseline in Ontario. Funded by Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Ongoing. (PI on the project)
- Correcting for participation bias in non-probability samples using multiple reference samples. Funded by Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR). Ongoing. (PI on the project)
- Creating safe workplaces for newcomers. Funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Ongoing. (PI on the project)
- Morassaei S, Smith PM, Wilson K, Ghahari S. Comparing the life satisfaction of older immigrants and refugees to Canadian-born older adults: the role of immigrant admission classes. Clinical Gerontologist. 2023 epub ahead of print. doi:10.1080/07317115.2023.2212660.
- Dobson KG , Mustard C, Carnide N, Furlan AD, Smith PM. Association of persistent pain with the incidence of chronic conditions following a disabling work-related injury. Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health. 2023 epub ahead of print. doi:10.5271/sjweh.4096.
- Shahidi FV, Jetha A, Kristman VL, Smith PM, Gignac MA. The employment quality of persons with disabilities: findings from a national survey. Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation. 2023 epub ahead of print. doi:10.1007/s10926-023-10113-7.
- Biswas A, Chen C, Prince SA, Smith PM, Mustard C. Daily accelerometer-measured physical activity patterns and associations with cardiometabolic health among Canadian working adults. Health Reports. 2023;34(3):15-29. doi:10.25318/82-003-x202300300002-eng.
- Dobson KG , Vigod SN, Mustard C, Smith PM. Parallel latent trajectories of mental health and personal earnings among 16- to 20 year-old US labor force participants: a 20-year longitudinal study. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology. 2022 epub ahead of print. doi:10.1007/s00127-022-02398-5.
Speaker Series presentations
- Building on the past, looking to the future: Presenting the IWH Strategic Plan, 2023-27 . IWH Speaker Series. May 23, 2023.
- Workplace COVID-19 protections and transmission: Findings from population-level data in Canada. IWH Speaker Series. October 19, 2021.
- Differences in the return-to-work process for work-related psychological and musculoskeletal conditions: findings from an Australian cohort. IWH Speaker Series. April 6, 2021.
- More than just COVID-19 prevention: Exploring the links between PPE, safe work protocols and workers' mental health. IWH Speaker Series. November 10, 2020.
- Reporting and consequences of workplace violence in six Ontario hospitals. IWH Speaker Series. May 22, 2018.
Interviews and articles
- IWH tool comes out ahead in Australian study of OHS leading indicator tools. At Work: Institute for Work & Health; No. 111, Winter 2023.
- Educators lack protection in-class and support online, studies find. Workers Health & Safety Centre. November 17, 2022. Available from: https://www.whsc.on.ca/What-s-new/News-Archive/Educators-lack-protection-in-class-and-support-online-studies-find
- They made doors, gum and jerry cans. Ontario’s ‘essential’ workers in manufacturing accounted for more workplace COVID deaths than any other sector — even health care. Toronto Star. October 27, 2022. Available from: https://www.thestar.com/news/investigations/2022/10/27/they-made-tile-gum-and-jerry-cans-ontarios-essential-workers-in-manufacturing-accounted-for-more-workplace-covid-deaths-than-any-other-sector-even-health-care.html
- Study of educators during pandemic found psychosocial conditions worse for those teaching online. At Work: Institute for Work & Health; No. 110, Fall 2022.
- Study raises concerns about popular psychosocial work survey. Canadian HR Reporter. June 23, 2022. Available from: https://www.hrreporter.com/focus-areas/people-analytics/study-raises-concerns-about-popular-psychosocial-work-survey/367668