Occupational injury risks in Ontario
Reasons for the study
The Expert Advisory Panel on Occupational Health & Safety reported to the Minister of Labour in December 2010. Legislation was passed in June 2011 to implement a range of recommendations from the panel, including the establishment of a Prevention Office within the Ministry with responsibility for developing and executing an integrated occupational health and safety (OHS) strategy for the province.
The Expert Advisory Panel included a recommendation to improve the indicators of OHS performance at both workplace and systems levels. In 2019, the Ontario Auditor-General recommended strengthening investments in research to better understand the effectiveness of measures to deter OHS violations. In responding to these recommendations, the MLITSD, as it is now called, made “to build and use the best evidence” a priority objective in its 2021-2026 OHS strategy, Prevention Works.
This project supports the implementation of this objective through concerted efforts to build data capacity in Ontario that can support and evaluate prevention activities. These activities will involve both primary data collection, identification of new secondary data sources, and data linkage.
Objectives of the study
- Build data capacity in Ontario through the identification of relevant sources of OHS information and labour market participation to better understanding the distribution of occupational exposures leading to work-related injuries and illnesses.
- Develop strategies to combine resources through novel data linkages and other approaches to create a more complete picture of OHS risks at the population level.
- Explore the feasibility of new data sources to better understand the labour market trajectories of different sociodemographic groups over time in Ontario.
- Estimate labour market participation rates across relevant demographic, occupation, and industry groups in Ontario.
- Initiate and complete a range of epidemiologic studies to better understand the impacts of system level interventions to prevent injury and illness in Ontario.
MLITSD, OHS policy-makers and decision-makers in Ontario, Workplace Safety and Insurance Board, employers, workers, labour, OHS professionals.
Related research summaries
- What can work-related COVID-19 cases tell us about how to prepare for the next pandemic?. At Work article: Institute for Work & Health, February 2024.
Related scientific publications
- Smith PM, Liao Q, Shahidi FV, Biswas A, Robson LS, Landsman V, Mustard C. Variation in occupational exposure risk for COVID-19 workers' compensation claims across pandemic waves in Ontario. Occupational & Environmental Medicine. 2024 epub ahead of print. doi:10.1136/oemed-2023-109243.
- Smith PM. Commentary: methodological approaches to understanding mechanisms and 'what if' questions in occupational health research. Occupational and Environmental Medicine. 2023;80(9):524-525. doi:10.1136/oemed-2023-109085.
IWH Speaker Series presentations
- Is precarious employment an occupational hazard?. IWH Speaker Series. February 13, 2024.
- Refining estimates of occupational exposures and risk of workplace COVID-19 transmission. IWH Speaker Series. January 16, 2024.
Collaborators and partners
MLITSD Prevention Office
Ministry of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development (MLITSD)