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

A screencap of the infographic

How Canadian workers move in a day, and what that means for their heart health

Canadian workers fall into one of six groups in the way they move throughout the day. Which have the best heart health? A new infographic describes the daily movement patterns of the six groups and compares their 10-year risks of heart disease, based on recent study findings.

Download the infographic
A man sitting on a couch holds his shoulder in pain

Majority of workers still experience pain a year after injury: study

A high proportion of injured workers in Ontario experience persistent pain for well over a year after their work-related injury. In a study of workers’ compensation lost-time claimants, an Institute for Work & Health (IWH) team found 70 per cent of workers experience some level of pain 18 months post-injury.

Read about the study findings
Police sirens at night

IWH Speaker Series webinar explores return-to-work challenges in policing

What challenges do members of police services face after a work injury? In an IWH Speaker Series on October 18, IWH Scientist Dr. Dwayne Van Eerd shares findings from a recent study on return to work in Ontario police services. He also highlights suggestions that emerged from the data on ways to improve the return-to-work process.

Sign up for the webinar
Blurred figures of workers walking

How daily movement patterns are linked to heart health of workers

How much physical activity do Canadian workers actually do in a day, and when? And what patterns of movement are associated with lower risks of cardiovascular disease? An Institute for Work & Health (IWH) study drew on activity tracker data to answer these questions. It found that people who were sedentary—i.e. who did little physical activity throughout the day—had the highest risk of heart disease compared to most other groups. No surprise there. What is surprising, however, was how their heart health risk compared with those who did vigorous, tiring work all day.

Find out more
A man and a woman work together to push a trolley through a warehouse

New review sums up sex/gender differences in work injury and illness outcomes

Men and women may be part of the labour force in roughly equal proportions. But many jobs and industries are still dominated by one sex/gender or another. In that light, a new systematic review at IWH looks at how work exposures and injury/illness outcomes are different for men and women.

See what the literature says