Working conditions and health
What are the effects of work, workplace and labour force conditions on the health and safety of workers and other members of society? Institute for Work & Health (IWH) research in this area seeks to understand the context in which government, sector-based and workplace injury and disability prevention programs operate. This research explores known and emerging injuries, diseases and disorders that are related to job, workplace and/or labour market conditions. It looks at the scope, potential causes and risk factors for these injuries and illnesses, as well as their effect on workers, workplaces, regulators and society as a whole.
Latest news and findings
What is the impact of depression on years of employment among working-age adults?
If someone experiences depression, what is the impact on the length of their future working life? It depends on how, and when, someone experiences depression. An IWH study found five trajectories of depression in working adults, each with varied impacts on their future years of work.Read about the study
Media Release - Addressing work conditions to improve public health: a series in The Lancet
October 12, 2023 (Toronto, Ontario)—Working conditions can have an impact on health and unequal health outcomes across the population. As a result, decision-makers from across different government departments should take greater note of work as a social determinant of health. That is a key message from a series of three papers published today in one of the world’s leading medical journals, The Lancet.See the news release
IWH researchers create roadmap for AI research that prioritizes worker health
What are the most urgent research questions on the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on worker health and safety? Using expert insights, an IWH team has developed a four-part agenda to guide AI research and spark conversations between workplaces, workers and regulators. Its goal is to ensure worker health and safety are at the forefront of AI policy and adoption in the workplace.Read about the agenda
News release: Cannabis use outside of work hours not associated with increased risk of work injury, study finds
July 31, 2023 (Toronto, Ont.)—Are workers who use cannabis at greater risk of having an injury at work? Yes, but only those workers who use cannabis during or before a work shift. Workers who only use cannabis outside of work hours are at no greater risk of getting injured at work than workers who do not use cannabis at all.See the news release
What racial, ethnic inequities exist in return to work?
In the first systematic review on the subject, the Institute for Work & Health (IWH) examined the research literature on racial and ethnic inequities in return to work. It found strong evidence that non-white workers are less likely than white workers to return to work following an injury or illness—and moderate evidence that Black workers face pronounced barriers.Read the systematic review summary